Yankeeland IV.
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CHAPTER VI.

AMERICAN HOSPITALITY.


THE hospitality of the Yankees is unbounded.  They cannot do too much for a man when they take to him.  It would perhaps be better for the guest if the host knew how to modify his show of welcome.  But he does not know it, and you have to take everything he sets before you, or insult him.  It would be vain to utter a protest.  You might as well bid the spread eagle close its wings, and not look so "darned defiant," as offer to expostulate.  If you are at dinner you have a dish of clams to begin with, the finest bivalves in the world according to your friend's notions.  But if your stomach does not give a "squirm" when your eyes behold the semblance of a small bed-room candle, with the "snuff" bent at the top, you are fit to do roughing work among any tribe of Indians who stop short of cannibalism.  These disposed of you have to face bacon and beans, and drink hot tea, with the thermometer at 90° in the shade, and the cooking stove at your elbow.  If you get through this course you begin to "give out; " and you sigh to be under a tree in Dunham Park, with a tender beef sandwich, and "suthin" grateful to wet your whistle with.  But you have not finished yet.  There are sweet cakes, dough nuts, green corn, stewed prunes, and the inevitable candy.  And if you have not reconciled yourself to drinking alternate draughts of iced water and hot tea, you have got to do it now.  Then you have to talk religion; or what amounts to the same thing with some people, your favourite minister.  Godliness may enter into some part of the creed; but it is a puzzle to find it out.  The "noble art of self-defence" may have its beautiful points but who is the best "slogger?" is the question most to be considered by the lovers of pugilism.  On the same principle I am afraid that the glories of real religion are too often observed by the shadow of the best "devil-mauler."  Then you get on politics.  What are Blaine's chances? and what do you think of Arthur's last "boom?"  You must have an opinion, so take your cue from your host.

    Politics enter more into the social life of America than they do in England.  Their newspaper literature of the present time is full "right through" of the doings of Republicans and Democrats, on account of the coming election of President.  The Republican convention at Chicago has been the theme of every tongue, and ended in bad blood.  Next we shall have the Democratic convention, during the sittings of which we are bound to have another deluge of political printers' ink.  This excitement will be kept up until November, when the President will be elected.  The atmosphere will be resonant with "booms" in the meantime; and we shall have piles of sensational headings, and political slang sufficient to stock a dozen burlesques, and as many pantomimes.  What a pity these things should occur in the hottest weather, when thousands of people are away to the cooler North, "doing" the Alps and the Rhine, and exploring the lair of the toothless Saxon lion!  Why not "get through" with them in winter, when a little warmth is required, unless it is from a fear of the ice crop being damaged by the heat of political controversy, and a good source of income diminished?

    I have been reminded of these things by an incident that followed an invitation to supper with a genuine old Englishman in one of the cities "down east."  Mine host and his wife still cherish the prejudices they had brought with them from the "old country," whilst their daughter, a hot-pressed, gilt-edged, Russian leather copy of the "Yankee gal," who had never scented the hawthorn, nor cooled her face in May dew, to keep down freckles, did not believe there was anything in England worth their remembering, except it might be their "sparking" days, and she "guessed" that was the secret of her parents' love for their old home.  The mother was inconveniently, but not stone deaf; and as deaf people have an awkward way of telling the truth when it ought to have been concealed, this old lady had the misfortune of disarranging the "connection" of the domestic telephone to the utter discomfiture of the daughter.  On my visit to this family I was an hour late for "supper," which in England means "tea," in Lancashire in particular,  "baggin'."  I begged to apologise, and hoped I had not kept them waiting, although I was the only guest.

    "Not a moment," said the daughter; "we didn't expect you until quite this time."

    That assurance caused me to feel as much at ease as the temperature of the weather would permit.  But the mother, putting in her "motty," had the effect of disturbing this serenity and I felt as if there was thunder about.

    "We'd gan yo' up," said the honest old dame, who did not believe in telling falsehoods to make things pleasant.  "My dowter said Englishmen wur never to be depended on, an' we made it out that yo'd better fish to fry an' wur above comin' to spend a neet wi' poor folk.  Wurno' that it, Jennie?"

    The daughter's looks were needles, but she had got to make the best of matters as they stood.

    "Mother is kinder deaf," she remarked in an undertone, "and she gets things into her head she thinks she has heard.  If you listen to her she'll just lose you.  Tea, or coffee?"

    Tea I preferred, and the young lady retired.

    "I'd give a trifle for a quart o' English cockles," said the old dame, her mouth watering at the thought.  "We'n nowt here that tastes like 'em.  But yo'n yer folks say that clams are th' best shell fish that con be fund anywheere.  They wouldno' say so if they'd as mony dollars i' their pockets as would carry 'em back to owd England.  Give a mon a Rhode Island clam, an' a Southport cockle, an' I know which he'd put on th' stove fust.  Now I'm straight forrad, an' say what I think."

    The daughter here entered with the tea and coffee.

    "Wheer's thy feyther?" demanded the mother.  I had noticed there was a set chair that no one came to occupy.

    "Gone to see the telegrams from Chicago," was the reply.

    "Wheay, what's to do theer?  It's not a fire again, is it?"

    "No; there's a meeting of Republican delegates to select a man to run for President.  Father's a Blaine man."

    "He is, is he?  He're not a plain mon when he're thy age, let me tell thee.  He're better lookin' than thou art, anyway.  Thou taks too mich o' thy mother to be pratty."  More needle-pointed glances shot across the table.

    "Will you take a cake, Mr. Brierley?" said the daughter, handing me a plate.  "They are very nice,—my own making."

    "Are you troubled with your liver?" enquired the elder party, when she saw I was offering to take one.

    "I am," I replied.  "That was one cause of bringing me here.  But why do you ask?"

    "Ay; but I conno' gether fro' that whether yo' want to be made better, or wurr."

    "Better, of course."

    "Ay, I guess yo done.  But if yo done want to be better dunno ate thoose cakes.  Butter's as dear here as it is i' England an' yo conno' get marjorum at fifteen cents a pound as good as butter at thirty-six.  But they'n passed a new law for t' prevent marjorum fro' bein' made.  Next time yo come we shall happen be able to offer yo cakes wi' gradely butter in 'em."

    The needles in the daughter's eyes had grown to razors; but a smile of incredulousness prevented them being shied across the table; and she begged that I would not take any further notice of her mother.  I had dismissed the clams, and felt satisfied when they were not pressed upon me! and took the cake, so as not to appear prejudiced.

    "Knock th' cat off yor knee," said the elder dame.  "It wants to lake th' milk fro' th' strawberries."

    Cats are cats in America; not the puny things we see chasing sparrows in England, or playing with a ball of worsted, but fine, noble animals, that your first impulse suggests being on friendly terms with, or being armed with a "shot-gun."  They rub against your legs without giving the familiar purr and you begin to suspect that you have a prairie wolf about you, or an Adirondack leopard.  This, I had been informed, was a "gentleman" cat, and could "play snakes" with rats.  After supper he appeared upon the scene with a mouthful of prey that he had not brought from the jungle, nor caught in the cellar, but for the possession of which some butcher's shop had been laid under tribute.  It was a loin of mutton chop, that caused his tail to erect itself to beyond the perpendicular.  The struggle was a fierce one, but the prey continued to have the best of it.

    "Is the cat an old one?" I enquired, thinking the animal's teeth might be getting worse for wear.

    "No; but I guess the chop is," mine host replied.  "Bob wouldno' ha' gotten that if it had bin fit for a table.  That mutton has seen more than one president."

    "I have not tasted a tender bit of mutton since I came over," I remarked.

    "Guess yo' need no' towd me that," said mine host; "it isn't to be got.  Sent to the old country.  What we have left here's only fit for dryin', an' makin into shingles for chicken hutches.  Yo' may get a steak sometimes that doesno' mak' yo'r ears wartch wi' chewin', but yo can never depend on mutton."

    But the cat has caused me to jump over a part of my story.  Mine host had not yet returned from his news hunting expedition and in his absence I had a good deal of fencing to do with his deafer half.  There was nothing American that pleased her.  The love of the mother country was too deeply ingrained in the old woman's system to be removed by anything short of cauterisation.  And yet these people had returned to England twice with the intention of settling, but could not rest there.  The bright skies they had left beyond the Atlantic shone brighter in their memories when they beheld the cheerless atmosphere, made more dreary by the contrast—of their native land.  They sold up a third time and were here again, as dissatisfied as ever.

    "Yo'n ha' to sweeten yor tae yorsel," said the old woman, seeing that I was twirling my spoon for nothing.  "There's very little of owt done for folk i' this country.  How dun yo like yor atin where yo'n bin?"

    "Not over well," I replied.  "Not accustomed to the style, nor the cookin."

    "Yo'n had no broth, I guess?"

    I shook my head.

    "Nor potato pie?"

    "No."

    "Nor steak dumplin?"

    I had not.

    "Nor steak pie?"

    "No; but I have had veal pie."

    "Then a Lancashire woman made it?"

    I believe she was from Lancashire.

    "No doubt o' that.  Wur there a cup i'th' middle?"

    "I don't remember!"

    "Hoo'd happen be feart o' breakin it, an' havin to buy a new un.  Tho' hoo shouldno' ha' bin feart, for cups are made so thick yo can hardly get yor top lip o'er th' rim."

    "What is the reason of there being made so thick and clumsy?" I enquired.

    "So that they winno' break," was the reply.  "We han to pay a heavy duty on pots, and if we broke 'em, as sarvants breaken 'em i' England, we should be ruinated in a month.  Me an' my felly went three mile one Sunday a-lookin at a set o' chancy (china), an' there were others theere beside us.  I durst hardly touch it for fear of it tumblin to pieces.  Yo dunno' seem to be gettin on with your supper."

    "You don't give the gentleman a chance," put in the daughter, who had hitherto kept a dignified silence.

    I assured my entertainers that I was doing exceedingly well, but my tardiness gave that statement the lie.

    "Have yo store teeth that yo'r so slow?" enquired the elder party.

    "Mother, you're insulting the gentleman," said the daughter, with a severe protest in her looks.

    "Nowt o'th' sort.  He's nobbut like other folk.  It isno' th' fashin to wear their own, no moore than it is seein without spectacles.  But I'll say nowt no moore;" and the old girl subsided for a time.  It was well she did, as her husband made his appearance.

    "Oh, yo'n come at last," said the head of the house, as he brushed into the room.  "We'd given yo up.  I said yo'd very likely gone wi' th' mayor, an' yo'rn havin' a good time on't.  I think by th' appearance o' things Blaine 'll have th' vote.  Well, Jim has done good work in his time, an he deserves to be th' President."

    "I've been told that he's disposed to make trouble with England?" I observed.

    "No doubt yo'n bin towd that.  An' it's as likely yo will be towd that he'll tak Egypt, an' India, an' Australy, an' he'll ha' th' Prince o' Wales put in a cage an' shown around like a guinea pig.  He'll see that justice is done to Ireland so that it'll stop emigration, as we're gettin so crowded that one men has to stond while another sits an' we shall ha' to send to other countries for corn, an' beef.  Jim Blaine 'll cause o that if yo'n tak any notice o' what a sore-yead says."

    Not a bad introduction to a tea-table debate, I thought.  The old man warmed with his tea and was at one time down on all Yankees and at another pitting them against the blarsted British snobs.

    "Yore as slow at yor eatin' as a girl," remarked mine host, seeing that I was not bolting my food at the speed as he was.  "Don't yo' like it?"

    "Yes, but I can't get into your ways of eating," I replied.  "You seem to get through your work as if you were doing it by the piece."

    "We can't do with slow work here.  We've got to move on quick or be left behind.  In England they'd sit an hour o'er this, they'd relish it so well."

    "They wouldn't sit long over a slice of melting lamb, some new potatoes, three on a fork, and a boiling of champion peas about the size of bullets, and home-brewed to make it come-again-able."  I had the old man there, I found.

    "I've a good mind to go back with yo'," he exclaimed, throwing down his spoon as though he meant it for a challenge.  "Yo'n reached a corner o' my stomach that has been shut down mony a year.  What is life worth, if we mun be roasted, and clemmed, an' worked to deeath here, while the tight little island's brimmin' o'er wi' good things till they hang off th' edges.  It would be just about wakes time if I went after th' fourth o' July.  That's the time for good doings!"

    It is wonderful to me how the Americans can afford to be as hospitable as they are.  It is not because they are earning much just now.  Trade is very bad and the amount of taxes they have to pay would, if transferred to England, not only turn out a Government, but smash the Constitution.  No Britisher would stand it in his own country.  Here my friend pays as much in various kinds of rates connected with two dwelling houses as his sister in England pays in rent for a tolerable good cottage.  He growls when taxes are named, curses the Republic and wishes they were under the British Government.  The country was always being upset with elections.  He would have the President chosen for twelve years instead of four and behead him if he did not do what was right.  He would take away the salaries of aldermen and councilmen and make them pay for their honour, as they do in England.  He would—Then he got into a fury and I whistled the "Star-spangled Banner," which pumped his patriotic blood into his heart, and he "whipped Johnny Bull like an old coon."

    "There is one thing you ought to be proud of," I remarked, when my friend's patriotism had cooled a little.

    "What is that?" he wished to know.

    "You have no great national debt to hold you down."

    He drew himself to his full height,—the eagle was on the wing.

    "You are right there, my friend," he said, with pride sufficient for a battalion.  "We pay as we go on, we do.  Won't owe a cent if we can pay it."

    "The more honourable course," I observed.  "No saddening posterity with debts of your contracting.  You will leave to your successors a clean book so that they can go on developing the resources of the country untrammelled by anything."

    "Here, I say, you git me there.  Don't see why we should fight and pay for a lot of Johnnies to come over and pick up the cake.  Wouldn't there be some plundering then?  Better have a debt for ballast to keep us steady going, than roll into another war: I am for posterity paying in advance, I am, then they can fight as they darn please.  This is the land of freedom and plenty!  I drink to it."


"Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
 Who never to himself hath said—
 'This is my own, my native land?'"


    I could not remember any more of Scott's fine verse, or I might have gone on, if my friend would have permitted me.  But he brought me up at once with the exclamation—

    "Wha-a-at?"

    "I knew by the smoke that so gracefully curled."

    "Wha-a-at?"

    "Oh, the green lanes of old England!"

    "Wha-a-at?"

    "Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale."

    "Wha-a-at?"

    "Soft up the valley creeps the sound of bells."

    "Here, I say, you git me again.  Bells, bells, bells."

    "Where are they?" eagerly enquired the old woman, who had not broken silence for "quite a time."

    "Those evening bells."

    "Ah," said mine host, with a sigh, "she's in her native valley now, where she still hopes to end her days.  Well, if I can sell out she shall."


――――♦――――

 
CHAPTER VII.

INTERNATIONAL HOLIDAY.—A CURE FOR BAD TRADE.


THE weather has been so much like an English summer during the past week (I am writing on the 14th of June), that I have been tempted to remain in the Valley of the Passaic a little longer than I had intended.  But when the hot wave comes—I mean the next, as we have had one already,—and the "Skeeters' go humming around," I shall turn my face towards where the snow lingers longest.  Half-a-day's journey will take me quite into another region, where "Hans" lounges at the window with his pipe, and "Grechen" flaps about in an acre of sunshade bonnet.  The place I am thinking of still preserves much of its primitive character, but the pleasure-seeker who cannot afford to spend the summer at Long Branch, or Saratoga, and dare not dream of the fashionable European tour, takes the boat, or the rail, and, with his family around him, enjoys a "quiet time" in the "Bettws" of America.  And the tourist has found his way thither and is as odious as he is anywhere.  He grumbles about hotel "feed," and compares it with that of Switzerland, where perhaps he has never been, and looks upon a pretty place as something laid out for his especial pleasure and ought to be taken away by him when he leaves.

    Many a pretty place has been spoiled of its quiet beauty by this rover from flower to flower.  He has left his mark in the picturesque village I am alluding to in a pretentious hotel that will deprive it for ever of its seclusion.  But there are yet some quiet nooks, and the paterfamilias of limited means may thank his poverty that has placed him out of the reach of making a pleasure into a toil, as many people do, than have to go to work to get a rest.  I met an acquaintance the other day who seemed in a great hurry, a thing quite unusual with him.  "Is there a fire somewhere?" I asked.  "No; I'm off for my holidays," he replied.  "Where to?"  "Guess I'm going to work; ain't done anything gone seventeen years, so I'm going to have a two-weeks' rest." (There are no fortnights in America.)

    The cool weather is enabling me to study America, and American life, to advantage.  Neither can be seen on a hot day, except we find the latter in connection with ice-cream and candy, or taking in breeze and sand at Coney Island.  We cannot see much by sitting at an hotel window with cigars and mint-julep, and we can only acquire an idea of vastness by being whirled a thousand miles on a steam "track."  We might as well look at the stars at midnight, or send the eye roving over the Atlantic, by which we gather no knowledge of anything but space, as pretend we have seen America by "doing" Niagara, New York, and the "Garden City."*  On the same principle foreigners need not flatter themselves that they have seen England when they have been inside Westminster Palace, climbed to the top of St. Paul's, rambled over the docks at Liverpool and taken off their hat to the Mayor in the Manchester Town Hall.  There are sights and sights, and it is a labour to see some of them.  The grand and majestic, in which we behold more of God's creative power than his love, weary the eye without filling the heart.  But when we see human nature in its gentlest and most truthful aspect, it is like a walk among flowers when the morning sun is releasing their fragrance.  It is the love of the Creator in its most acceptable manifestations.

    It has been my fortune to see the light and shade of human life as represented in America,—the man who would share his "bottom dollar" with a stranger, and the one who would take him in in a different sense to that which is meant by the Scriptures.  At times I am overjoyed and at others pained by my discoveries, but remembering a line by the late William Billington,—"Look under th' leaves if you want any nuts" — I have dived into the depths of lowly places to find the oyster that contains the pearl.  It is not to be found in the Wall Street of New York, nor among the gay saloons of Saratoga.  Some of these experiences may not be of the most delightful kind, if the flutter of gaiety be the charm you seek.  But they have their lessons, and if the proper study of mankind is man, I am getting along the form.  I am seeing a good deal of him, and may have something more to say of his personnel when I am enjoying the retirement of home, than I can think of in the hurly-burly that is going on around me here.  Not that I intend taking the advantage of absence to say something distasteful of our Yankee cousins.  That would be cowardly.  The worst that I may have to say about them shall be done in their presence.  But "up to now" I have not gathered as much dirt to throw as would plaster the chimney corner of a throstle's nest, so I ought not to live in fear of knives and "fire-irons."

    Now that we have done with "booms," and political dynamite, for a time, and there seems to be a prevailing desire to rest a little, and look abroad on the situation, there is a chance of getting at the sober thoughts of men who are not politicians by profession, nor for the sake of plunder, but who are earnest and sincere in their desire to see the affairs of the States "taking on" a brighter aspect.  They think there has been too much "spreadeagleism," and too little real patriotism in their public men.  It has, they think, too much the appearance of coming to the end of things when the principal object of the great and virtuous mind is "scrambling."  If men raise themselves to a proud position, not to befriend their country, but to rob a bank, there is a hopelessness in the prospect that is quite bewildering.  Besides, what is the object of the Government in hoarding up such vast revenues, and keeping up taxation?  "You bet—(this is the way growlers, or "sore-heads," argue)—someone's going to have a haul!"

    I was listening to a number of these one evening after the blaze of fireworks had exhausted itself, and I could gather from what I heard of their conversation that there was a large amount of disaffected feeling sunk into their minds and it took ways of manifesting itself that I was not prepared to witness.  At the same time these men were loyal to their country and the Republic, and would raise "Hail, Columbia!" against the enemies of either.  But with all the advantages of soil and climate they felt they were not in the position they ought to occupy.  There was too much silence in their workshops not to feel alarmed about the future of labour.  The cause of this silence, everyone agreed, was the glutted state of the markets.  How strange, some people might think, to hear working men reasoning! and manufacturers might reduce wages, as they have done, and were doing, until they got them as low as they were in England fifty years ago, but they would have no better trade.  Goods were not wanted.  There was no market for them.  People would only buy what was required by their necessities, so how could they hope to reduce their stocks?  There was only one cure for this state of things, and that applied to all countries besides America.

    "But what have we to do with any other country than our own?" was asked.

    "That is just where your narrow-mindedness comes in," said the propagandist.  "Don't we as individuals live by each other?  I guess we do.  So it is with nations.  What is good for one is, I believe, good for all.  Now, I have heard someone advocate, not a general strike, but a general cessation from work for a given time—say a month.  But what good would that be to us if other countries did not follow?  They would pour in their goods while we were idle, and that would only be draining the pool to be refilled from some other source.  I was in England during the great strike of forty-two.  It was found that after a month's rest trade received a new impulse, and had it not been for succeeding failures in crops, a tide of prosperity would have set in.  My wages went up nearly twenty per cent. without asking for and others rose in proportion.  But Germany, Belgium, and America, were not in a position then to stock the English market, or the result might have been different.  Half a century ago America was at war with itself, and the labour of peace had a rest.  Other countries could not supply our markets, because they could not obtain the raw material.  When we came out of the war we had empty stores, and we had to fill them.  Our wages rose to a fabulous height.  We thought we owed that to protection, when it was simply caused by an increased demand for labour.  For years after the war mechanics were earning six, seven, and eight dollars a day, and during the war so scarce was the supply of labour that boys of nine and ten years of age could earn two dollars a day by weeding onion beds.  Farmers were compelled to pay the amount or spoil their crops.  I will not go into the great farming lands of the West for these figures.  This dearth of labour was in the East.  Then to what do we owe our present depression, and low rate of wages?"

    "Over-stocked markets," was the general reply.

    "That being the conclusion," said the propagandist, there can only be one remedy,—an international holiday.  Blood-let the markets of the world, and renovate the whole industrial system.  Not being a strike for higher wages, I have no doubt that employers would be favourable to the movement.  Repeat 'forty-two' on a universal scale, and we shall set ourselves right.  Five years ago weavers would have been sent for to their work.  A man could have earned his three dollars a day.  Now he cannot earn more than one dollar a day and if he is away from his job one hour there are twenty applications for his loom.  That shows a sad state of things, gentlemen."

    The following paragraph, taken from the Paterson Daily Guardian of June 17, bears out the statement of our propagandist:


HUNDREDS OF IDLE WORKING PEOPLE.—Superintendent Fielding says that among the hundreds applying to him for work on the streets are some of the finest mechanics and skilled workmen in the city, and he judges by the facts that come under his notice that the present depression is pinching the working class much harder than at any time during the great panic, for then the silk industry was fairly prosperous, whereas now there is comparatively little to do in that branch.  We learn that several silk and other industrial establishments are intending to reduce their working hours to half or three quarter time about July 1st, which will not mend matters.  At William Strange & Co.'s mills three-quarter time was adopted yesterday.


    And this is in the United States of America, a land that can produce all it requires, and could afford to shut itself out from the rest of the world—a land of inexhaustible resources, and its people starving.  This cannot be the result of famine, because famine means scarcity, and there is no scarcity.  To what, then, besides the glut of markets can be attributed this great change?  What is the cause of a country, as yet wearing its first "pants," being afflicted with the imbecilities of age?  Is it because it has adopted the vices of the Old World without copying its virtues?  I am afraid the answer would not be received with equanimity.  But there are many disarranging elements independent of these.  There is a continual flood of immigration that has to be spread over the land, and the immigrants do not all go to the far West.  They settle in places already crowded and bid against the elder colonists in the labour market.  Lancashire has had to bear the strain of a similar situation and which could not raise a question of international moment.  From other counties, and from the sister kingdom, flocked immigrants for whom work had to be found, or other means of support.  In these instances the idea of protection was sought to be carried out, and when one man seeks an advantage over a neighbour, it is no wonder that nations adopt the same principle.  But without discussing the question of free trade and a free workshop, I am merely giving a statement of things that come under my notice and the feeling I gather from the perturbations that are troubling the labour world.

    The difficulty the American people have had in dealing with immigration would have swamped an older country and it is scarcely to be wondered at that while the well-meaning have been doing their best to grapple with these difficulties, the political charlatan should be making his way to power.  This snake has coiled itself round every limb of the Union's liberties.  Corruption of the most flagrant kind prevails everywhere.  Patriotism asserts itself in its distribution of dollars, and plunder is now one of the political virtues.  I might have hesitated in making this statement if anyone was disposed to contradict it, but the justice of the impeachment is admitted on all hands.  There is no road to power only through reams of dollars.  Men hold the reins of government who are outside of it.  They "boss" the polling places at an election and the ballot system is a farce.  The party wire-pullers distribute the voting tickets and insist upon knowing which way the voter votes before he deposits it; and if he refuses to show his ticket, which the law says he can, he is regarded as having voted against his party and treated accordingly.  Those who have been bought do not hesitate.

    With good trade and general well-doing, the American people have seemed to be indifferent to these growing evils; but with depression everywhere, they are disposed to take political matters into their own hands.  Charlatanism is playing itself out and if public papers would adopt a more serious tone in discussing the most serious business of a country, it would be a powerful aid towards the political regeneration so much needed.  Such light treatment of important matters cannot be necessary.  England does not adopt it and there is life in the old dog yet.  Some of these evils could not exist under a good monarchy.  It is not for want of good laws that they exist in the United States; but the administration is weak and people who are not well disposed, and who could sooner pull down a government than build one up, do as they "darn please" and set the laws at defiance.  Those whose duty it is to administer these laws and see that they are obeyed have to think about keeping their places.  If those were secure, and were not at the mercy of a party "boom," I have no doubt the law would be administered more vigorously; but under the present system there are a good many "dead letters."

    America can never be a monarchy unless conquered.  And who is to conquer it?  Not all the powers combined, unless it was sold.  Are there men who would sell their country?  I ask patriotic Americans for the reply.  There is no pretender to an imaginary throne, unless it be a Red-skin; and I am afraid his blanket would not cover the situation; it would be too scant, and, besides that, too porous to keep out Republican rain.  "Hans Chuckenbanger" is too easy-going to make "dot ting vork."  He is among the earliest settlers, but was never born to rule.  Give him his pipe, his wife, and his lager bier, and he would have no desire to "boss" the eagle's erie.  O'Donovan Rossa would have to fight his own friends for a start, and perhaps be the first victim of that panacea for all ills—dynamite.  Uneasy would be the throne with a few packages beneath the seat.  But dynamite can only fight on one side, is the fool's opinion who advocates its use.  It is clear, then, there are no heirs to the crown of Columbia, and the Americans will take care there is not one started.  Yet there could be worse rule than that of a good king, but the experiment would be too dangerous to be tried.  If the people do allow themselves to be fooled for a time by political tricksters, they have never in the least surrendered their liberties.  But they may trifle with them too far.  There is a spreading sore that might be fatal, that they may cut out the gangrene at once is the hope of one who loves America next to his own country!

    But my reverie is disturbed by the sound of bells.  This is the land of bells,—not the chimes we were wont to listen to as they stole upon the ear in the quietude of a Sabbath eve,—but bells that clang and jingle as if for no other purpose than to keep the world awake, and people's minds in a mood for indulging in profanity.  It is the land for yells, too,—yells that the shrieks of all the doomed struggling with Styx could not reach within an octave.  They sometimes seem to lift my ears out of their place, and I feel for them about my scalp-lock if that is still in being.  It is the scream of a railroad engine, and is accompanied by the clang of a bell, large enough to ring in for a square mile of churches.  Those accustomed to the infernal noise say they don't hear it, or don't notice it.  I wonder how it would go if on the fourth of July an open-air concert was got up, and "Hail Columbia" was chorused by the united voices of a thousand donkeys.  It would not astonish their ears more than the railroad "buzzers" astonished mine.  But they might get used to it.  The clickerty-clack of a loom shop has spoiled many an ear of its notion of music, by obliging the would-be singer to sing down his nose in order to be heard.

    And there are bells of another order, but none the less inharmonious—the bells of the Junk dealers.  These frequently pass where I am sitting, and they cause the war-whoop to be given out from my lungs.  The junk cart is a flat construction such as would be devoted to onions and cockles in the old country.  In the middle, on a board, sits the driver, and behind him is a string of supposed to be bells, but which in the more humble concerns are made up of old meat tins, "Colman's mustard" canisters, and square iron boxes whose original use is a mystery to me.  These are strung from side to side on two poles and strange as it may seem no one offers to cut the string or steal the bells.  The machine is worked by a string attached to the mule's ear when the animal will stand the work, but when he is in a stupid mood the driver has to pull the string himself.  Why they call these people "junk dealers" I do not know, as their only occupation is gathering rags and other kinds of waste.  The bells I hear now are not the junk bells.  They are the fire alarms and they are ringing all over the city.  A junk dealer's warehouse is on fire.  This is the way the incident is described by one of the newspapers.


"THE NEW TEAM'S FIRST RUN.—This morning about 3-15 o'clock an alarm of fire was sent out from box 38, at the corner of River and Montgomery Streets.  The fire was in the small barn and storehouse owned by Richard Robins, a junk dealer, at No. 33, Straight Street.  The barn and its contents, including a mule and two dogs, was entirely destroyed.  The barn adjoined the Erie railroad track on the site of the old oil fire.  It is supposed to have caught from a passing locomotive.  Cataract Hose was the first to reach the scene of the fire, and did excellent service in saving the three adjoining houses.  Steamer No. 1 responds to this box, and this was the first run the new team has had.  The horses acted admirably, and responded promptly to every call made upon them.  Besides the driver there were two 'bunkers' in the house last night.  As soon as the alarm struck, the animals began to prance in their stalls, impatient to be loosened.  When freed they made a dash for the steamer, and 'George,' the most intelligent, placed himself in front of the engine and voluntarily ducked his head for the collar.  The other animal, which has been named 'Andrew,' is not so intelligent as George, but both are learning their duties very fast.  Besides the barn there was also a small woodshed destroyed, and the adjoining house was charred.  The loss will amount to about 500 dols., with slight insurance."


    Verily, we are too common-place in our public prints to give events their proper colouring.
 
* Why Chicago is called the "Garden City" not even an American can understand.  "Food" City would have been more appropriate.


――――♦――――

 
CHAPTER VIII.

ON THE TRAIL OF THE WAR-PATH.


WHOEVER has been at Greenwich on a summer Sunday afternoon will have seen how crowds of Cockneys of the lower and middle grades of society manage to enjoy themselves.  It is enough for them that they have a park to romp and tumble in, a few places where they can imbibe their "half-an'-half" beneath the shelter of trees, in company with wife or sweetheart, and a band to listen to.  But they do not make as much of a holiday as the Yankees.  They have no large river boats to crowd, nor the water to float them in.  If they had these, in all likelihood they would not be far behind their Transatlantic brethren in the way of holiday making.  But Father Thames would be aghast at the idea of having to bear on his sluggish breast the thousands that may be seen at holiday times floating about on the rivers, creeks, and bays of the land of the West.  But the great misfortune of the American people is,—they have no Belle Vue to cater for them.  There is no great variety of fare to be had.  The inevitable clam, and strawberry short cake, a "schooner" of lager, and a handful of peanuts are as many danties as can be hoped for and in these both young and old of both sexes seem to delight.  An Englishman, however, should approach this kind of entertainment cautiously if he means to enjoy it.  He should not get too near the kitchen when the "chowder" is being cooked, unless the organ of smell has suspended operations for the time.  He should not get among the steam of perspiring sea-weed beneath which the American cockle is expiating its sins on the altar of heated stones.  If he does there are chances of his appetite losing some of its edge, if not the whole of it.  He will not find the odour of roast beef, nor that king of the Lancashire dishes, the potato pie.

    I had an experience of this kind a few days ago.  Holiday time it was, and just so near that season of the year when the American youth of all ages go wild on nationality, and manifest their patriotism by disposing of as much melted gunpowder as they can get under fire.  I was one among others invited to an excursion by boat to a place among the scattered rocks of Narragansett Bay.  It was not called "Rocky Point" because it did not merit the name.  It had a sterile, iron-bound appearance, with just so much green on the surface of its higher ground as might tempt a sheep to look for pastures somewhere else; and it cannot be wondered at that


"Freshness leaves the land ere Spring is gone,"

 
since it is trodden by thousands of feet before it can be said to have a beard.  I was led to expect only a few people taking a quiet outing, as the steamer did not appear to have holding capacity for many more than a hundred.  But we had not been "aboard" time enough to light our cigars ere we found we were not to have much elbow-room.  The cry was "Still they come," and "We see them on their winding way," a long distance off, and in such numbers that they might have been going to Knott Mill Fair in the olden time, but minus baskets, and screaming mouthfuls of Lancashire Doric.  Never did I see such crowding, only on land.  We were over on this side, and on that, until it would not have surprised me if we had been "dumped" into the sea.  This is getting to be a dangerous venture, I find, and newspapers are complaining of the risks people encounter by overloading.  The authorities, they say, will not open their eyes to the danger until a few hundreds have been drowned.  When the cable was slipped we had 1,100 passengers on a boat that would not be permitted to cross the Mersey with more than 500.  No more of it until would-be excursionists are satisfied that loading cannot go on till everybody has got standing-room, and something by which to hold on to the bulwarks outside.  I believe the fault lies with the people, and not the owners of the steamers; they will insist upon boarding.

    I had not been in this company long before I was made aware of the presence of a few of my countrywomen, who had not yet forgotten their native tongue, although none of them could be on the sunny side of fifty.  They were not very comfortable in their places, and whenever the boat gave a lurch they were sure of being drowned.  If they had known, they never would have come, "not for no money."  To my thinking, I would prefer to face the Atlantic in "half a gale," rather than venture on that boat again to keep back the crowd.  Two of the Lancashire women held on to each other as though they had been converted into life-boats, and were depending on mutual aid for safety.  But the more youthful and daring spirits regarded the situation with the indifference of old tars, who had been "lashed to the helm," and had piloted a raft, and if there was anything to be seen on either shore they would crowd on that side of the vessel until the "chain-box" was constantly on the move to balance it.

    "Eh, I wish they'd give o'er shiftin so mich," said Betty, or Sally, or whatever the name might be.  "It's rockin' now like an ice-boat upo' th' cut.  If I mun have a cradle let me have one wi' rockers on, then I con but tumble out on th' floor.  I dunno' care for summut like a saucer swimmin' in a mug."

    "It's runnin' upo' one wheel now," said the other, trying to lean her weight on the raised side of the boat.  "Let's get on this side, an' try to balance it; we're fat uns.  Dear-a-me! I could welly ha' touched th' wayter then.  We shall be o'er yet, an' I've getten a new shawl on."

    By degrees and good management the ship righted and the two women were as much pacified as they well could be without having their husbands there to lay all the blame upon.  They could converse with me without having occasional spasms of irregular breathing and they gave their experiences of American life, and the American climate as none but Lancashire people could,—I mean with the peculiar form of expression belonging to the county.  They grew very confidential, and one of them insisted upon making it known to me who she was.

    "Are yo stoppin' th' wakes o'er?" she enquired, for a beginning.

    "Wakes?" I asked in return?  "There are no wakes in America."

    "I mean Hollinwood Wakes," she went on.  "Yo' come fro' theere, dunno' yo?"

    "I do, originally," I replied.

    "Well, I come fro' Marpo, at back o'th' Navigation.  Yo'd know Owd B-ll-s, I dar' say."

    "I knew him well; he was a friend of my father's.  We lived on the canal side at Bradley Bent."

    "I thowt I knew yo'.  Yo' used to work at Hinchcliffe's factory, didno' yo'?"

    "I did when I was very young."

    "An' yo' went to th' Ranters' Schoo' i'th' Gravel-hole, after they'd left Bradley Bent?"

    "I attended many years.  I met an old schoolmate of mine on Decoration-day.  He drove over here twelve miles to see me.  We had not seen each other for thirty-five years; old Bill Stott's son, hat dyer.  He's living out at Adamsville, Rhode Island, and has a farm."

    "I remember him.  Well, I'm owd B-ll-s dowter.  I'm sure yo'd remember me."

    "I do; but it is a long time since I saw you.  You were asking me if I was stopping Hollinwood Wakes over?"

    "Ay, I wur."

    "Well, I set out to stay till September if I found I could stand the heat."

    "Yo'n summat to go through, then," and the old girl gave me a look that seemed to have been made up of sympathy and commiseration; "Yo'n no idea."

    "I had it as hot four years ago as it was during the whole summer," I assured her.

    "But wur it i' August?"

    "No, June."

    "Ay, but try August, an' yo'n never want to try another.  Yo' might get roasted i' June, but August is a boilin' month an' yo'n get boilt same as they dun potatoes i' yo'r clooas."

    "I don't much care if I can avoid the mosquitoes."

    "Miss Kitties!  Han yo' never bin bitten wi' one yet?"

    "I'm not aware that I have."

    "Well, if yo' dunno' remember it yo' ha' no' bin bitten.  I know a woman that's bin bitten wi' 'em till hoo's had black een.  What dun yo' think o' that?  An' they'n go for yo' like gooin for a babby.  Yo'r fresh fro' th' owd country, wi' some fat about yo', an' they'n have a bit on't.  A dried-up Yankee they dunno' mind.  They conno get mich juice out of a piece o' brown leather.  But a bit o' fresh English blood,—they'll go for it as far as we used to go for wayter—to th' Underlone well.  But that isno' everythin'.  I' August there's nowt that's breet but what goes as rusty as if yo'd had it i'th' wesh cellar a week,—keys i' yo'r pocket, needles stuck i' yo'r bust,—they're noane fit for nowt.  Yo'r keys are like a bunch o' owd nails an yo'r needles like bits o' straw.  Nothin' i'th' shape of a rag leeaves yor skin.  It sticks to yo' like birdlime, or a wax plaister.  Mony a time do I think about Blackpool when I've a blister here, an' another theere, an' my clooas are lapt about me like dumplin rags.  As I said, if yo' stoppen here till Hollinwood Wakes is o'er yo'n summat to go through.  I wouldno' face th' time if I could help it.  Are yo' gooin to this clam bake?"

    "I'm going to see it, but I don't think I shall taste.  They're not very nice things to look at."

    "Did yo' never taste?"

    "Never could bring myself to it."

    "I've tasted mysel, but I conno' say that I tak to 'em.  I think that if at th' side of a dish o' clams ther' a gradely English beef-steak puddin' rowlin' on a plate there wouldno' be mony shells oppent.  There'd be a difference i'th' smell, too.  I thowt at one time I should ha' bin clemmed to deeath.  Ther nowt put on a table as it is i' England.  No rounds o' beef, no legs o' mutton, done before th' fire, an' smellin' as sweet as a posey.  No broth, but chowder, ut no English dog would taste if it had a whoam to go to, or a bone hid somewheere.  This cookin' upo' stoves, yo' seen, doesno' bring th' reet flavour out o' mayte, an' I sometimes think th' stuff isno' as good as it is o'er i'th' owd country.  We dunno' get it as fresh, I'm towd.  It's sent to England to see if they'n have it, an' if they winno' it comes back here."

    This conversation brought us to the end of our trip, and the women left me.  I must confess that I did not feel very comfortable when I reflected upon the information that had been volunteered to me on the subject of American weather in the month of August.  I had been on trial a few weeks, and thought the roasting I had undergone during the time was quite sufficient for a season.  But when I was told that I had experienced nothing yet only a dry spring-time with cooling breezes, I felt, to use a little of my friend Salisbury's phraseology, as if I was disposed to "come unglued."

    "Wait till after the end of July," observed the worthy "Deacon," "that will be the time for the weather to begin to sock it into yo'.  I wear nothing then but my pants and shoes, with a shirt made out of moths' wings, and the down of sucking doves."

    The flag streaming from the tower on Rocky Point gives the place somewhat of a martial complexion and it brought to my mind things that I had heard and read of,—wars waged in the neighbourhood when the "redskin" and the "pale-face" did not spare each other.  The flag seemed to fling old memories out of its folds as it "streamed like a thunderstorm," but not "against the wind;" and while the rest of my companions were enjoying their clams, I was reading history as it was presented to me by the stern lines of that rock-bound volume.  I had read the land romances of Fenimore Cooper until I had learned to admire some tribes of the "noble savage," as well as to detest others, without suspecting how nearly they were akin to each other in treachery and barbarism.  But the scales had fallen from my vision and the trail of blood was visible over the land.  Not far from where I was standing some of the most horrible scenes were enacted,—butcheries inflicted the most hellish that human devilry could invent;—men bound to trees, and feats of archery practised on their bodies;—arms severed by rusty knives, and such barbarities perpetrated upon women by women as cannot be recorded anywhere only in the mind that would gladly believe they were not true.

    But the stars and stripes now dominate the scene where the "snake skin" signalled to battle, and we have the laugh of hearty merriment where once the war-whoop led to death—


How calm the scene where once the war-whoop rung
And Indian tomahawk was fiercely swung;
When neither sex nor age was ever spared,
But all the cruellest of tortures shared,
Where spreads the sail of many a noble ship,
The frail canoe once sped with wary dip,
Of paddle that no sound would give to foe
Lurking unseen to aim the deadly blow.
In yonder cleft the savage built his fire,
To cook his spoils or make a funeral pyre.
But now the hunting grounds are 'neath the wave,
The shore deserted by both sire and "brave,"
And 'stead of red-skins, troops of "Uncle Sams"
Pay weekly visits to devour their clams.


    The "bakes" are regulated in their proportions by the number of visitors expected.  So are all feasts supposed to be.  But how is it ascertained what the number may amount to, that they can be provided for?  The dinners have not been previously ordered, and to cook the fish on speculation would be, perchance, to waste them.  If the reader has in his youth been horrified by the savage exploits of "Blue Beard," he will remember "Sister Ann's" business on the top of the watch tower, when the cruel husband has got his wife by the hair, with the intention of adding another head to his "Chamber of horrors."  "Dost thou see anything coming?"  By a similar system of telegraphy it can be made known along the Sound if there are any visitors on the way, from Fall River, Providence, or other places on the coast.  If there is a streak of smoke to be seen in the distance the baking stones are heated, and by the time the steamer is moored along the pier the clams are ready to be served.  The eating does not require long to "put it through," as the average visitor would have the contents of the shells dispatched before some people could draw up to the table.  It is astonishing to see the number that will sit down at one relay, and the speed at which the race is kept up between the bake and the dining saloon.  We have nothing to even remind us of such things in England.

    To-morrow (June 28) I set out with others to "Great Falls" (not Niagara), and the "White Monntains."  We are promised a "good time."


――――♦――――

 
CHAPTER IX.

"COOLING OFF."—ARRESTED AS DYNAMITARDS.


THE intense heat of our New England cities had the effect of driving me into the country, where I might expect to find cool air and quiet rest.  Incessant travelling in a boiling sun, and in railroad cars that refresh with ice water, and clouds of grit from the engine, had made me feel as though a dip in the Atlantic, with a shark in sight, would be preferable to any further experience on land.  The opportunity for a change came upon me like a message from home.  I and a friend, a brother "inkslinger," were invited by another friend to spend a day or two with him.  It was simply to be a neighbourly visit, and not more than 140 miles away.  Our only chance being at the end of the week, we set out at five o'clock on Saturday morning, on the 28th June, the first break of our journey being Boston, Mass.

    A stroll through the classic city in the early morning, ere the sun had got fairly to work, we took as an augury of how delightful the rest of our "out" would be.  We saw a sight there that deserves more than a passing notice.  It was a flower mission.  We were traversing the poorer districts of the city, in order to make a short cut for the depot, when we came upon a number of girls, well-dressed and of lady-like manners, with boxes under their arms.  These we might have passed without further notice, had not our friend Barker of the Herald called our attention to them.  Coming to the end of a street these girls made a raid upon it, not as policemen do, but after a manner of their own.  Instantly they were surrounded by a crowd of poor ragged waifs to whom a flower was a godsend.  The boxes were speedily emptied of the "sweet ministers of peace," and the bright scene, the happiness diffused around by the presence of these ladies, caused me to feel a choking sensation in my throat.

    At train time we took the "steam cars " on the Eastern Railroad to "Great Falls," in New Hampshire, as intimated in our last chapter.  We arrived at our destination about midday, but not before the occurrence of an incident that did not promise to be of a very pleasant character.  Drawing up at Portsmouth depot, our car was boarded by a couple of officials who demanded to see our baggage.  They read over a description of it, and of ourselves, "two black grip-sacks, and one gentleman with red face and aquiline nose, the other very stout and partially bald, with jolly face and twinkling eye."  It was decided that we were the persons "wanted," and were charged with having dynamite in our possession.  This had the effect of raising the temperature to a degree that was nearly setting us on fire and no doubt would have ended seriously had not my friend noticed between a straw hat and a striped "duster" a good-humoured face pulling itself into all manner of shapes.  It was the face of the friend we were going to see and who had come down to Portsmouth to meet us, and play upon us the joke that his eagerness spoiled.

    Our reception at Great Falls was warm in more senses than one.  The cordial shake of the hand was right and welcome.  But that part of the reception the sun had to do with was blistering.  Its face had been newly burnished and arrayed in a mantle of brightest blue, it sent its shafts of heat down upon us with blades red from its scorching fire.  It was greatly assisted in its effect by a mirror of sand that was ankle deep, and the absence of as much as a bean pole to cast upon us its meagre shadow.  But at a distance from the station the road was overhung with umbrageous trees, beneath which we would have stayed awhile had we not been urged on to our home for the day.  Our host was a thoroughly representative Scotchman, but preferred lager to whisky,—well, such of the latter as could be had in a prohibited State.  The welcome we received and the cozy quarters placed at our service did not provide us with that which we wanted most,—just a breath from the North Pole nicely distributed.  If windows were opened wide, and the rooms darkened until we could hardly see each other, it was only the oven with its door opened; the heat was all the same.  To add to our means of this kind of comfort it was intimated to us that in all probability the mosquitoes would be "around" in force during the night and the nets must be kept close.

    How were we to pass our time under the circumstances?  It was unfit to be out of doors and quite as unfit to be indoors.  There were no public rooms, commodious and airy, in which to spend an hour in social conversation.  We had nowhere to discuss the merits of "Tattooed Jamie," nor "Black Jack," the republican choice for presidency.  People will not keep premises open for such a purpose when there is no chance of being remunerated in some form or other.  We could have gone into a billiard room to play had it been any other week-day than Saturday, but the threshold of the Sabbath must be kept clear of anything profane.  Well, then what were we to do?

    "This way," said a friend, and we submitted ourselves to be led through the burning streets until we reached the river where we crossed out of New Hampshire into the State of Maine.  Some mysterious movements were here observable as we stood at the corner of a low building, over the door of which a rude signboard informed us that the building was the "Post-office."  This was the town of Berwick,—not on Tweed, but on the "Newitchiwannah."  A kind of freemasonry was going on to which I had not been initiated, but was about to be, I could gather.  "Open, Sesame!" and the next moment I found myself in a crowd where drinking was going on with a briskness that we sometimes see at a flower-show when the day is hot and the band has ceased to play, and everybody wants to be served at once, and this in the model State of Maine, where no intoxicating liquor is allowed to be distilled, and it is unlawful for railroad companies to carry it.  This latter statement must be taken with a grain of salt, as it rests upon about as much authority as the history of "Tom Thumb" or "Jack the Giant-Killer."  From what I saw here on Saturday, June 28, I had no hope that I could spend the "fourth of July" of glorious memory as far from the "madding crowd " as I might desire.  But pray never let me again hear Maine held up as an example to drunken England.  I have seen in half-an-hour more tippling within the shadow of the police-station than can be witnessed in any similar sized room in Manchester.  I could not have believed it had I not seen it.  I was asked to look round on Sunday, but I had not the courage to face so much hypocrisy.  I had seen enough.  The same thing prevails in New Hampshire, and there is an evil attending this sly drinking which can only be guarded against in places where the consumption of ardent spirits is not accounted to be unlawful.  Much of the villainous stuff that no one else will drink is sent here, as competition is shut out, and drinkers have to take anything they can get, which is so much the sweeter because, like stealing apples, it is prohibited.  I do not wonder at people going mad and committing murder under such conditions.  A murder had been committed just before we reached Great Falls.

    The facilities for sly drinking are not to be numbered.  Any stranger would wonder why there were so many drug stores in so thinly populated a place.  Surely the whole of the inhabitants do not require constant physicking.  No, but they want something besides, which the law says they shall not have.  "Kerosine" is the staple trade of these establishments, but all that is disposed of is not consumed in lamps.

    It was not until the gloaming fell that we could enjoy tolerable comfort, and that was on sufferance.  The mosquitoes were preparing for the fourth of July and did not parade as expected.  But the flies are at any time quite as annoying, because they are always on the war path and hang around scalps with the attentions of an Indian.  We were promised a drive for the morrow that would compensate us for all we had suffered and make up for the disappointment we felt.  There was a gloriously breezy bluff, or headland, about ten miles away, where it was always cool and where we could refresh as we wanted.  Then the drive would lead through a splendid country, the scenery of quite an English character, with dense woods to shelter us from the heat and where bays and inlets threw from their breasts the delicious airs with which only water could temper the influence of the sun.  Alas! we were again doomed to disappointment.  The drive was certainly such as we might obtain in the English lake district if heaven's furnaces were in full blast.  But who would care to drive from Bowness to Ambleside if Windermere was dry?  When we reached Dover we found the tide just about its lowest ebb.  The sea had taken up its carpets and gone out towards the Atlantic, leaving a muddy floor for us to get our breezes and inspiration from.  But we drove on to Dover Point, three miles further on, and no one need be surprised at the horse finding the stables without being shown.  The equine nature has something of the human about it.  But we sought our stable as well.  But where was the promised breeze?  Gone with the tide, we were informed, and would not return without it.  But there was a cool cellar that was quite as enjoyable and there were no red ants, nor flies, nor minute black spiders there to annoy us.

    The coolness of the cellar did its share of refreshing for a time, but it was not that which we sought.  We took our seats and sat beneath the trees in front of the hotel, but there was not a stray breath of air to be caught anywhere, not even with a net.  We might as well have been fishing for bass in the mud of the river as to feel for a waft any stronger than could be raised by a bee's wing.  Lager and ginger-ale had to be the substitute, and every splash of it was as welcome as if it had been Moét's or Mumm's, with a breeze on the top.  The reverend editor of the Fall River Advance I will leave to fill in the details.


    "One of the prettiest drives we have undertaken is that between Dover and Dover Point.  The road is so full of quiet beauty, of bits of English rural pictures, is so well wooded, and the scenery is so soft and varied, that a man must have a cast iron dyspepsia concealed about him if he does not drink in its quiet beauty and be gladdened with its views.  It was on this road, on a glorious Sunday morning—with a blue and cloudless sky overhead, and ninety-three in the shade liquidating one's superfluous tissue—that Ben Brierley, Willie Watson, and the religious editor of the Advance, went on their way from Great Falls to the Point, to spend a day far from the busy haunts of men, where they could enjoy the cooling breezes, a quiet sea-side haunt, a cozy dinner, and a discussion of the Blaine boom and the beauties of nature.

    "Ben Brierley was reserved and quiet, and so full of the sylvan beauty of the scene that he had to unbutton his vest to allow his satisfaction to expand itself.  He wouldn't even smoke.  He said it would be a burning shame to draw upon anything harder than his imagination.  This was a pretty rough criticism upon the cigars we carried with us—for, speaking within bounds, they didn't need more than a porous plaster to make them draw.  Willie Watson was the driver, and was prepared to show his talents as a Jehu, if he hadn't had a mournful, heart-broken, and crossed-in-love sort of horse in the shafts—an animal that could and would have gone fast enough if it could have shaken off unpleasant memories and the remembrance of a 3-40 and blighted life.  And yet, while Willie was rather nervous about the animal he was driving going to sleep and disturbing the silence of the scene with its snoring, he still plodded along, perfectly content if we were moving, and vigorously protesting that it was a shame to go faster than a walk at a time when the traces were red hot, and the harness saddle was crackling under the intense heat.  Besides this, he was acting as our guide, describing the scenery, and wishing he had some tobacco strong enough to blister a set of false teeth with its smoke.

    "We had a neat little dinner at the Point, in which everything was clean, good, and comforting, and the pretty waitress was as pleasantly cool as a strawberry ice.  Returning home after a pleasant conversazione under the big trees on the lawn, and a determined fight to keep the black ants and earwigs out of the lemonade, we began to experience something of what a hot day means in New Hampshire.  The thermometer was doing its best to keep below 96 in the shade and failing magnificently in the effort.  In our carriage the bets were that it was over a hundred and thirty.  We had stopped near the top of the hill in the vicinity of the Poor-farm, talking with friend Thurston, late of Fall River, but now of Great Falls, when we heard Ben Brierley murmur—

    "'Say, Watson, drive on a bit.  My coat is on fire.'

    "And then, mildly remembering that Brierley really was exposed to the full glare of the sun, and that his everlasting black cloth suit was absorbing caloric enough to fry eggs in, Willie started the carriage and created a draught.

    "Drip, drip, drip.

    "'What is that dripping which I hear?' said our representative to Ben.

    "'Oh, it's only me, melting,' mournfully replied the suffering poet, 'and I am not sorry it is so if only there is enough of me left to grease a postal card to send home to th' owd rib.  I know she'll be glad to have my remains spread upon paper."'


    Great Falls! the name had a charm that had drawn me thither, because it led me to expect seeing something, not a Niagara, but it might equal Montmorency or Lorette.  I could behold in my imagination its silvery spray envolving in clouds as the water dashed from the neb of the beetling rock, or leaped like the Mohawk from ledge to ledge, and diffused a refreshing coolness around.  I had had dreams of having my sore skin suffused with a healing bath, and a quiet lounge beneath the shade of rock or tree, forgetting for the time the inconveniences and toils we had borne to reach this great Elysium.  Gods and goddesses of woods and streams,—another disappointment!  The Great Falls are nothing more than a weir stretched across the river to form a dam for the large mills which find the inhabitants of the village employment.  The reason they call the place Great Falls is to distinguish it from Little Falls, on the same river.  But if we were disappointed in these, there was still Dover Point and the White Mountains.  The former has been dealt with.  It was not the fault of the place that the tide was out.  It could not be answerable for the moon's ruling.  It was merely the accident of the time.  But the Great Falls!—carding and spinning, weaving and bleaching,—great as are the works that man has constructed there, and they are great as we saw from passing through them, they are not to compare with the ideal I had formed of the place.

    But the train is now due that is to carry us to within a few miles of the Canadian frontier, and our Scotch friend, his wife and two children, are all agog for a delightful outing, only they keep out of the sun as well as they can.  We are on the spin again, away, away, for long miles we go, the line of cars wriggling like a mighty snake, but our faces require our handkerchiefs all the time.  When tired and sleepy, and as dusty and as gritty as a smithy floor, we are informed we are at the depot bearing the name of Wolfbro' Junction.  Here we lunched on chicken pie, which was more like an English dish than anything I had tasted in the States.  Near the station I was introduced to a small wooden shanty where a newspaper is printed and published, the proprietor being the editor and reporter, his young wife compositor and paragraphist.  Which of the two was the engine to drive the machine I had not the temerity to enquire.  But it was a most compact little place and appeared to be furnished with everything necessary for working a "news mill" on a small scale.  Being Monday it was, as is usual on a weekly, a slack day, and the whole of the staff were going out, both of them.  I was very much interested with this model office in which everything was kept in such order as only a woman knows how, or has patience to see to.  None of the compositors smoked or drank beer.

    My readers should have seen the editor, as we found him.  He was still in his war paint, and Crusoe could not have been better furnished with arms and ammunition than he was.  His waistcoat pocket was crammed with pencils, pens, scissors, gum brush, pipe with tobacco ashes dribbling out of the bowl, a six-inch rule, and things editorial we could not make out.  We were kindly received and we had as much fun out of him as the sun could extract.  "All aboard!"

    Another long whirl and we are at North Conway, in the very lap of the White Mountain region.  "Jumping Jehosphat!" exclaims the deacon, as he "dumps" himself upon the platform, "Something with the lid off again!"  If it was hot at Great Falls, they must have turned the reflector of a Dutch oven on the face of the Barnum-white-elephant mountains.  Seat ourselves anywhere?  No, let us walk abroad until our mortal candles are melted to the wick.  Hear what the Advance man has to say;—


    "North Conway was hotter than Hades with the lid off.  It fairly toasted itself in a red-hot bed of sand.  Not a breath of air was stirring.

    "'Is this a pleasure resort?' whispered Brierley, suddenly taking his hand from a heated fence rail upon which he had thought to rest, wearily.

    "Upon our assurance that it was so, and that it was one of the prettiest and most romantic spots in the whole mountain range, a spot which, for its command of craggy peaks snow clad hills, embowered vales, winding roads, lovely views, darling little lakes and wondrous echoes, had not its equal for charming attractions, he could only say

    "'How soon does the train start for Fall River?  How soon can we get out of this oven?  Do you think we've money enough in the gang to buy me a cake of ice to sit upon?'

    "We took him to see our old friend Pitman, who dosed the sufferer with citrate of magnesia, acid phosphate, ice water and fans, until he really began to see that kindness and desperate remedies were quite equal to the task of making him forget that it was the seventh paper collar he had just wilted in a day that was not even yet above half over.  And then we trudged across the great Sahara of red-hot sand which lay between us and the station, and got on board and started for Boston, a long and weary ride, in which we indulged in perspiration and wicked thoughts, and never ceased growling at the heat until we had got our bath at the Massachusetts House, and kindly Charley Baker was telling the pretty waitress to put big lumps of ice in our evening cup of tea."


    We were enticed into a "druggery" and prescribed for.  The rest—perspiration and a desire to pull a cloud over us.  Three thousand feet of dry mountains, not at all white, except where a stone crops out of the bush that clothes the flanks of this seemingly interminable range!  Wild enough was the scene, which would be a thousand times wilder when draped in the snows of winter.  But now—oh for a lager and a return train!

    I need not describe these mountains, even if I could.  Everybody has painted such excrescences on the face of nature either on paper or canvas.  The same with rivers which, looked upon from a utilitarian point of view, are merely drains to these mountains.  But I would not suffer such commonplaceisms to interfere with the soul's appreciation of these wonders.  They are mountains and streams to me still,—the same that my boyhood worshipped, and gilded my youth with the halo of poesy.  But they were not revealed to me with the thermometer at 96 in the shade, and an engine panting and growling near.


――――♦――――

 
CHAPTER X.

THE GARDEN OF AMERICA.


THE pilgrimage of burning sand and blistering sunshine had left my skin parched and pulse low.   I was advised, as a restorative and comforter, to spend a few days at a place I had visited before where I could have good English fare, cool breezes, and quiet.  There was no need of pressing this advice upon me; I "let up" at once, and went.  I was as completely "played out" as an old cab horse that goes down upon its knees and prays for a consignment to the knackers, and when "mine host" saw me labouring up the slope leading to the hotel he wondered what had come over me, I looked so wearied.  I felt anxious for bedtime to come, and when I was shown to my room, a spacious one, and windowed on two sides with everything about to make a man happy who has no other home, I thanked Dame Fortune for having located me there.  I think I have mentioned the place in another chapter,—"SILVER SPRING."

    A night's rest and a day spent on the verandah had a wonderful effect upon me, and as day followed day, and meal times came round, I began to feel as if I was growing into a "light weight" giant, fit to tackle the  notorious John L. Sullivan.  Silver Spring is a paradise, and when we have passed a quiet day there, with no need to use a bootjack or brush one's coat and seek at night some little diversion, we can have it in the house.  The three grown daughters can sing, play, and recite so as few three sisters can, and those are not their only accomplishments; they can wash, cook, and serve at table quite as well.  Besides all this they are something to look at.  Bravo, Yorkshire! they hail from that county in blessed Old England!  I spent four days in this nest, one of which was the glorious "Fourth of July."  We did, or attempted to do, our share of the celebration, but the rain interfered with our success!  The rockets would not go off from having lain in the wet grass and the Chinese lanterns shed tears.  Music, however, made up for our disappointment in fireworks.

    I had picked up so much good at this place that it was with the greatest reluctance I left it, and when handkerchiefs were being waved at my departure, I felt, somehow as though I was leaving a third home.  I had previously unburdened myself of the following:—


SILVER SPRING.


Thou Silver Spring—sweet Silver Spring!
Around my heart fond memories cling
Of joyous hours I've spent with thee,
When far from home—beyond the sea.

Thou art a nest where weary feet
Can halt, and feel a healing sweet;
Where cooling breezes from the sea
Are blent with strains of harmony.

Oh, I could linger here for aye,
Forgetting aught the livelong day,
Except my home, where love and thee—
My wife are—mine beyond the sea.


    It must be borne in mind that Silver Spring is not Saratoga, we do not meet the "spry" girls, and straw-hatted old mummies, the former looking as though they had been born to waste dollars upon, and the latter having the appearance of disappointed candidates for Madame Tussaud's receptacle for broken up wax.  There is nothing so hateful as a supercilious old Yankee.  If his neck just behind his ears happens to be baked into a wash-leather brown, with lines describing the pattern of a back-spittle, it would not be pleasant to ask him for information.  There would be plenty of room to doubt his giving a civil answer.  I met with one of these in Warren, but of that hereafter.  There were none such to be found at Silver Spring.

    But I was committed to the spending of a day at Providence, so took my departure thither.  Besides having to meet many acquaintance there,—friendships newly formed—I had been told that if I called at a certain house I should very likely find an old companion, well known in Hollinwood by the name of "Jack Thuston."  I went to the place, but was disappointed.  Not being market day he had not come to town and would be busy on his farm.  But I met with something worth going for and without expecting to find it.  The landlord, I thought, had so much the appearance of an Englishman that I could not help asking him if he was one.  His reply was—

    "Guess I aint a Johnny.  No, by (something).  I'm a Yankee, I am.  Guess you're a Johnny Bull?"

    I confessed I was.

    "Guess we'll make you Britishers take a back seat if Jim Blaine gits in.  We'll make you smell mice.  None of your darned bunkum.  Before another fourth o' July we'll camp fifty thousand men on Wrigley Head Green.*  What think you o' that?"

    Then with a grin, he put out his hand, and exclaimed, "How are you, Ben?"

    He was an Englishman, after all and had lived in Failsworth.  I heard an anecdote of him that is worth repeating.  Bob Dewhirst,—that is the name he is known by—is a dog fancier and had entered seven spaniel pups in the dog show at the Centennial Exhibition.  Bob had heard of an eccentric American carrying the stars and stripes through England, and an idea struck him that he would do something to emulate, in his own way, the foolish exploits of this "son of a wooden nutmeg."  He would march the distance of 300 miles to Philadelphia and have receptions on the route.  He had a wheelbarrow made on purpose and so constructed that the seven pups could be seen, after the manner of white mice or guinea-pigs.  He hired a man to walk in front of the conveyance, carrying the American flag; and, thus equipped, the menagerie went on its one wheel, like the triumphal car of a Roman conqueror, amidst the shouts of a crowd of doggies, bar-roomers, and "bummers" in general.  Their progress was everything that could be desired until they reached Hartford in Connecticut.  How it happened has not yet been explained and Bob is reticent about giving any information on the subject, but the party, pups and all, found themselves under lock and key in a place where hotel prices were not charged.  What kind of trouble had got them into such lodgings has not transpired, but it is supposed that lager could not have done it.  Something stronger must have been "around."  This adventure, however, led to the wheelbarrow being sent home and the journey being finished by rail.  I have in my possession a photograph representing the setting out; Bob dressed in a pair of "Lancashire knee breeches" and in the act of shafting the wheel-barrow, whilst his henchman is waving the standard by his side.  The "sitting" is so contrived that three of the pups are visible.  Our friend declared that he would not have given up the cart to anyone but me.

    On the Narragansett, and dividing the distance betwixt New York and Boston, lies the State of Rhode Island, of which Newport is the capital city.  It is the oldest of the New England cities, and it may be said the prettiest.  Sometimes it is called the "Garden of America," or the "Brighton of the West."  Not having been in Brighton proper I could not compare the two.  I doubt if any part of old England is so richly endowed with sylvan beauty on the one hand, and such a splendid beach on the other.  The two features combined give it an attractiveness that draws together a tone of society such as we meet in Buxton or Matlock Bath, without the invalid element and the drinkers of spa waters.  The drives are magnificent and almost closed in by trees that give to them at noonday the coolness of evening.  Entering one of these drives, Belle Vue Avenue, we have the breeze from the sea to give it additional freshness; and at a certain hour, the fashionable time, or "high ton," the line of carriages that crowd the avenue reminds one of Hyde Park, save that there are no coronets on the panels nor other insignia of the "pomp and circumstance " of Princely presence.

    "But who is that gentleman who raised his hat to us?"

    "Colonel Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte.  We have no princes here.  Would you mind an introduction to him?"

    I had forgotten there was one of the Bonapartes in America.

    This was on a visit I paid to Newport, and happened during a drive along the three mile run of Belle Vue Avenue.

    Well, I saw nothing very princely about Jerome, not of a type that I have been schooled to believe belonged to noble blood.  He was more like a private gentleman, who, if his face had been fair and fresh, with a little more energy beneath his vest, would have reminded me of my friend Allen Mellor of Oldham.  He was plainly dressed—a "plug" hat, a coat something like mine, "pants" not over long with continuations of red hose and low shoes.  I did not observe any bearings on his carriage.  Such is his familiarity that he is only spoken of as "Jerome."

    Belle Vue Avenue would be an ugly looking drive if denuded of its trees.  The modern mansions are unsightly, such as no Englishman would put up in his own country.  I can only account for this want of taste by attributing it to a desire to be different to other people, like the wealthy gentleman who wore a bad hat so as to distinguish himself from his neighbours.  Some of the older buildings are really fine.  They belong to a time when riches alone were not accepted as evidences of good taste and good breeding.  America is not the only country in which monstrosities of various kinds are intended to be looked up to.

    A spin along the "Ocean Drive" on a hot day is a luxury, and when relieved occasionally by getting down and inspecting some natural curiosity, such as the "Spouting Rocks," and the "Hanging Rocks," is made doubly enjoyable.  Getting too near the latter place is the reverse, as I very soon discovered, the canopy of the carriage being covered in a twinkling with young mosquitoes, just emigrating from their birthplace in a swamp close by.  We had a lively fight with these pests and more than one of my friends bore scars.  They had heard me say that I had never been bitten and had driven thither on purpose that I might have something to boast of when I got back to England.  Much to their disappointment I came out of the melee scathless, whilst they were engaged in other things than admiring the beauties of nature.  The vicinity of the Spouting Rocks was much more pleasant.  The phenomenon here to be seen is caused by the sea rushing into a narrow cavern, having an opening about midway, something like the blowhole of a spouting whale, only of dimensions that would admit a man's body without fear of his choking it up.  The fugitive sea, not being able to find any other outlet dashes up this natural blowhole, sending up a column of water, sometimes to the height of fifty feet.  If anyone is so incautious as to stand near when the tide is a little sportive, and plays "around" kitten like, then makes a spring and dashes up the hole in its wildest strength, a bathing dress would be the most suitable garment to be worn at the time.  This can only be witnessed when the tide is well up, and a fresh breeze is blowing inshore.

    "Purgatory" is a chasm that takes a little after the "Lover's Leap," in Dovedale, Derbyshire.  It has the traditions that attach to all such places, with this variation,—a youth, to show what he would dare, to propitiate the affections of the lady of his choice, leaped across this chasm and had the satisfaction of learning from her own lips that any fellow who was fool enough to risk his life for no good purpose was not to fool with her, so she "went back on him," as the Yankees phrase it.  Anyone must admire the young lady's good sense.  Had the lover emulated the deeds of one of America's noblest daughters it would perhaps have had a different effect.  On a small island lying under the Fort is the solitary home of Ida Lewis, the Grace Darling of America.  I had the privilege, not accorded to everyone, of visiting that lonely nest.  My host for the time, Mr. Charles Bickerton, took out a boat one afternoon and after a visit to the fort we pulled to the rock on which the lighthouse stands.
 

Ida Lewis (1842-1911), American lighthouse keeper
and holder of prestigious awards for life-saving.
Source: Wikipedia.


    Miss Lewis was just returning in her boat from the city, and the guardians of her "sea-girt isle," a pair of Newfoundland dogs, were baying "deep mouthed" welcome to their mistress.  At first we were forbidden to land, as she had been bored with visitors, but on learning through her brother that I was a stranger from England, the heroine of many a noble rescue waved me a cordial welcome.  One of the dogs was ready to assist me up the slippery rocks, had his services been required.  Ida was chatty about many things, but never for once did she allude to any of the incidents that had made her name famous throughout the world.  She led us into a room in which she keeps her medals; and I felt as if I was in the presence of a being more than human as I gazed upon that precious store, blessed by the grateful offerings of souls whose existence on earth she had been the means of prolonging.  I must confess that I was disappointed with the personal appearance of this brave woman.  I had pictured her in my mind as a kind of Amazon, with sinews of rare power, and a presence that would overcome a storm.  Instead of that I found her to be a slim, wiry figure, of about middle height, and without any indication of being endowed with fins.  I know not what the sensation of drowning may be, but a strange feeling came over me as she "tipped me her flipper," and gave my hand something more than a one-fingered grip.  I felt, somehow, as if I was being pulled into a boat previous to being discharged of a freight of sea water, and a cargo of brandy shipped instead.

    On our return from the rock my friend recounted to me some of the deeds of daring that had marked the career of this human petrel.  One was of her rescuing two soldiers who had been skating on treacherous ice, and had got immersed.  When other means of reaching them had failed, Ida dashed upon the ice, equipped with nothing but a clothes-prop, and laying herself down, held out successfully the hand of deliverance amidst the ringing shouts of the spectators.  For this gallant act she was fittingly rewarded.

    The ordinary duties of Ida Lewis are to attend to the lamp fixed in the seaward corner of the building, for which she receives 750 dollars a year.  A successor would only receive 500.  The extra 250 dollars are given as a reward of merit.  Poor Ida!  She was in deep mourning and our boatmen knew her by that when most of a mile away.  "She is coming yonder," he said, as we were nearing the lighthouse.  "She is mourning the death of her sister, who lived with her on the rock;" and I could well understand how one of two such companions would grieve at losing the other.

    The greatest curiosity to be seen in Newport is not of natural formation; it is the work of human hands, but when it was built, or for what purpose, history has not a word to say.  This structure is called the "Old Mill," from a supposition, nothing more, that it was originally used for grinding purposes by an earlier civilization than Columbus introduced.  Here I had best quote the authority of the "Guide to the City of the Sea:"—


"Probably the first striking object for enquiry that will arrest attention is the old stone mill in the centre of Touro Park, near the head of Belle Vue Avenue.  It is, most certainly, very old, and as certainly of extremely obscure origin.  We dare not tell you much about it, yet there it stands, Sphinx-like, awaiting your cleverest guess.  We will not undertake to prove it to be either a Viking's watch-tower, raised 900 years ago, or simply Governor Arnold's old mill, built by the colonists in 1663; and we would not, if we could, clear the pleasant mystery that hangs about its origin.  The wall of this ruin is about twenty-four feet high, built very substantially of rough stone, with lime mortar, and has been harled, or rough cast, with lime.  It is raised on eight pillars, about seven feet high, and from five to six feet apart, a most picturesque object in the landscape, a monument to the taste and skill that fashioned it, whether the head and hand belonged to Norseman or Anglo-Saxon."


    Evidently the lime of the mortar used in building this tower was the produce of burnt oyster shells, as bits not properly calcined are to be found mixed with the other material.  Said "Old Jemmy," the coloured confectioner whose stall is near, "a man, Missr Brierley, who could give the his'ry of that yar buildin' need do noffin more.  It would be a fortin' for him."  The origin of the round towers of Ireland is not hidden in deeper mystery.

    Through the kindness of my hostess, Mrs. Bickerton, I obtained permission to go through the Episcopal Church, the "Old Trinity," the oldest, with one exception, in the United States, being built in 1726.  In this church the celebrated Bishop Berkeley was wont to preach.  On the pastor's returning to England he sent an organ as a present to the church.  The piety of the time would only accept the case.  The musical portion was transferred to a less puritanical place of worship.  Since then the stays of bigotry have been unlaced, and the organ has been restored, but with a new filling.  The church was built and endowed by English money and is the only one in the States the spire of which bears on its apex the British crown.  It is a condition of the endowment that this crown shall not be removed.  But it is an eyesore to some people who have been raised under the Republic.  The bell was presented by Queen Anne, but it has been broken up and re-cast so often that it can hardly be called the same.  The pews are the square high-backed boxes of a former period and are taxed by the State, the seat-holder having to pay the tax in addition to a high rental.  There seems to be nothing but speech that is not taxed.

    On leaving Newport I was honoured with a public dinner given to me by the citizens who were mostly Anglo-Americans.  We had what they call "a good time."  The following is a report of the proceedings, copied from the Newport Daily News of July 12:—


THE BRIERLEY RECEPTION.


At the dinner given last evening at the Park House, Fred A. Daniels, in welcoming Mr. Brierley, said:—"This gathering of citizens of Newport, Englishmen by birth or descent, come together tonight to give you a right royal and cordial welcome to this, the city of our adoption and choice.  It is indeed a proud honour to us to have Lancashire's famous poet, though not personally known to some of us, yet to us all the name of Ben Brierley or "Owd Ab" is as familiar through your excellent writings as though we had known you in person.  As I said, it is an honour which we feel to have the pleasure of entertaining you at this board.  When it became known that you were about to visit these shores it was felt by some of us that we should be failing in our duty if we did not make an effort endeavouring to get you to visit this, about the prettiest and most English looking spot in America.  You see before you, sir, men in whose hearts there is a very warm spot for yourself, and remembering your life's efforts for the amelioration of the condition of the working classes of our Mother Country, who can wonder that it is so?  In conclusion, sir, I ask you to accept on behalf of us all, a cordial loving welcome to Newport, Rhode Island.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose the toast—'Long life, health, and prosperity to our honoured and respected guest, Ben Brierley.'"

    Mr. Brierley, in responding, said that, on looking round at the company present, he felt puzzled to know whether he was being entertained at a farewell party at home, on his departure for America, or in America on his leaving for home.  The welcome that evening was so thoroughly English that it required no effort of the imagination to carry him back a distance of 3,000 miles, and feel that he was on his native heath and surrounded by his neighbours.  It was as though England had been dropped on that great continent and taken root there, as he scarcely could realise that he was among strangers.  It afforded him the greatest pleasure to be present in such a company, and he would be proud to convey to his fellow countrymen in that old land they had all sprung from, the expressions of warm-heartedness with which he had been received by their brethren in America, not only in Newport, but elsewhere.  It would be a time of gratification to him when on his way home, to conjure up in his mind that hundreds of hearts were wishing him God-speed and a safe landing on the other shore.  It would be to him like a passage between two homes, only leaving one to visit the other.  It would be a proud thought to him to know that in Newport he had found the "true sort," and that the friendly hand held out to him was not a mere formality.  He had to thank his friend, Mr. Charles Bickerton and his good lady for that genial hospitality which made no show, and was the more genuine on that account.  He intended leaving for New York on the morrow, but it was not because he was tired of the place, but because he had only a short time to remain in the country, and he wished to be getting a little nearer that home where a pair of bright eyes would be the first to greet him.


"The eyes that shed no tear at the farewell—
 The heart had dried the fountains."

 
*A small hamlet in Failsworth, near Manchester.


――――♦――――

 
CHAPTER XI.

HOW ENGLISHMEN HAVE RISEN IN AMERICA.


I HAVE often heard it said, and I think there is a good deal of sound sense in the observation, that if people would do at home what they are compelled to when abroad, they would have no occasion to emigrate; or, that they would succeed as well in their own country as in any other.  It is not because America is an Eldorado, where gold may be had for the picking up, that men have got on there, or in more appropriate words, "made money."  Hundreds have gone from England to the States and Canada with the idea of having an easy life of it, and returning home to spend the remainder of their days on the produce of an industry that would only have the name of being work.  These have emigrated to find their dreams dispelled and the result of the disappointment has not been in favour of the country of their adoption.  It has been too often said by these people, "If I had only known, I wouldn't have come out to such a place."

    Perhaps the emigrant has been a gentleman, accustomed to earn a living at the desk or the counter, and thinks any meaner occupation, or one requiring extra manual labour, to be beneath him.  He could not condescend to handle the spade, or carry the hod, and work side by side with the much despised and much misrepresented "nigger."  No, shade of his grandfather Scroggins! who was butler to my Lord Bobbinhat, his dignity would not stand such a humiliation.  A man of his character would be the first to have the "stuffing knocked out of him," and find in his discomfiture that pedigree and position would not raise a vine, or a "cob" of Indian corn; nor would either be accepted for a week's "run" on the boarding house.  He would have to take off his coat, or go home, if he meant to live honestly.  He must make up his mind to do anything he can get to do, and never admit that he cannot do it.  He may do this with the pleasing assurance that there is no one looking down upon him.  He may be a subject of her Majesty, and sometimes be called a "greenhorn," or a "Johnny," or a "sparrow," but these sneers do not reflect in the least degree upon the character of his occupation.  He may be a rag-picker or a junk dealer, but so long as he minds his business and does not curse the land and the Republic, he need not slink into the shade when on the side-walk for fear of being observed.  It is only when he descends to the level of a "bummer" that the eagle gets its claw into him.

    Many of the most successful men in America have begun the new life at the foot of the ladder.  "Ay, lower than that—i'th' cellar," remarked a Lancashire friend of mine.  In the better sense nothing was too mean for them to do,—scavenging, severing, digging, sweeping, portering hodding,—anything that had a dollar at the end of it, found a ready hand to do it.  And as the mind was made up to take what would come, so surely would the hand find something to do.  Once on the ladder, with a determination to ascend, he may keep on in the upward course.  The misfortunes or malpractices of other people may sometimes interfere with his progress, and he may have to take a "back kick," but if he has the "stuff" in him he will mount again.  If he takes on airs it will be so much the worse for him and if he intends to succeed by "genteel" means he must either become a politician, or get into the confidence of some banker.  In either case he may have a chance of showing his "smartness," which is only another term for gilded roguery.  But if he means his career to be an honourable one the path lies before him.  I have had millions of dollars so much rung in my ears of late that, when I begin to talk about thousands, I feel small.  "Oh, he must be worth his millions," is a very common observation and applied to people too, who, in a few years, without gambling in stocks or stealing from the public purse, have emerged from the gutter and raised themselves to a height of fortune as near to the sun as can be reached without the aid of wings.  But it has not been done by taking things easily or waiting, "Micawber" like, for "something to turn up."  It has been done by sheer hard work, which admits of very little rest,—work indulged in as if it was mere pastime and returned to again and again until the object of so much labour has been accomplished.

    I have during my sojourn in the States been made familiar with the lives of some of these self-made men.  Where I have not had their history from their own lips, I have had it from those of their immediate acquaintances.  I have been spending a week in Philadelphia, which I should take to be the finest "Manchester" in the world.  I cannot compare it to London, for the "Quaker city" is not the resort of hereditary nobility or people who, as the phrase is meant to imply, have "had fathers before them."  It is the home of the princes of industry who succeed not to titles and fortunes but of their own creating.  I passed the warehouse of a firm the other day, the principal of which hails from Lancashire, and commenced his transatlantic life by picking woollen rags at a remuneration of four dollars per week; "but," as my informant gave it, "he didno' stand at th' end o' Jack Lawton's every neet, makin' gam' o' folk as they went past.  Here always workin', an saved out o' every little he made."

    This man took a step higher than rag-picking and with the aid of a little of the simplest kind of machinery he commenced making tying-up thread for grocery stores.  With this hung upon his arm he would tramp a distance as far as from Manchester to Oldham to dispose of his wares.  By that dogged perseverance which means winning, he acquired a "team," or had the temporary use of one.  He would attend market and having sold up, he would return home with a load of vegetables and "market" those before he finished his day's work.  It might be tedious, but at the same time instructive to trace this man's career from the time he shouldered his bundle on the banks of the Medlock to becoming the greatest manufacturer on that nobler stream, the Schuylkill.  But it will be sufficient for me to say that he and his partner, a brother, are at present the employers of 3,000 "helps," and that the former has been named for a seat in Congress.  Bravo "Owdham!"

    Other instances I could name of men who are known to me having risen from nothing to affluence by hard work—but in a fair field—and not shirking the labour offered to their hands.  Generally speaking, the disappointed have not laid themselves out to make the best of their time and opportunities.  The revelations of a noble institution, the  Society of the Sons of St. George," which has its branches scattered all over the States, show how utterly helpless have been a class of immigrants who came to seek, not to make, their fortunes in America.  They have not struck a "bonanza" at the first stroke of the pick, and without further effort despair of ever finding anything.  Their hands have not been accustomed to wield other than a pen or a pair of scissors, and to raise "segs" on them, so that they could not wear seven-and half gloves, would be a meanness that their pride could not submit to.  If they had made up their minds to work at whatever offered itself and adopted the advice of Horace Greeley when he said, "Young man, go West," they would not have been under the necessity of begging the means by which to return to England, as is too often the case, and without the cognizance of their friends at home.

    I wish it to be borne in the minds of those people who have been used to read glowing accounts of America, that they have to work hard if only to make a bare living—so hard that if they were put to the same task in England there would be a great cry about white slavery.  Some might say, "Well, I wouldn't do it."  To these my advice would be "stay at home."  America will not support gentlemen, who prefer "loafing" to working.  The rosy representations of what the land will yield may all be true, but it will not do much without labour, and that of the most trying kind.  I was a fortnight ago shown over a plot in a neighbouring State that, to contemplate its barren appearance, and feel they would have to subsist upon it, or starve, would have broken some men's hearts, and it was not so very cheap, either, when compared with the prices of farming land in the old country.  In a village near is a mill that has been "shut down" since May; and the whole of the inhabitants were, or had been, dependent on working at this mill for a living.  Going elsewhere to seek employment in the same trade would have been like selling "Nip," as it was suffering from depression everywhere.  They wisely determined to stay where they were and make the best of the situation.  Some lived on their savings; these were English people, and had not spent their "bottom dollar."  Others, English people too, turned to farming in a small way.  The hands that delved the land and sowed the corn and potatoes on the plot I was shown over, three acres in extent, had been accustomed to work among silk and were as soft as "my-lady's."  But these hands set to work at once upon the land and broke a portion of it up.  The whole was too much to cultivate the first season.  It would have been an insult to a shop-boy in England to offer him a piece of such land for a football field.  But now it is smiling with corn and potatoes.  The uncultivated portion is devoted to the keeping of poultry, which are calculated to supply the family with eggs and "spring chickens" all the year round.  The excess of potatoes over what they would require for their own use, this amateur farmer told me, he could barter in the city for other necessaries, and now he has no fear for the winter.  It is not yet five years since this man, so he informed me, sat next to me at an entertainment in Leigh, Lancashire.  He has done all this and built himself a house in the meantime.  But it has been a struggle to do it.  He did not come to try his fortune, but to make it.

    And now let me call the attention of my readers to the working of a society I have before mentioned, the "Sons of St. George."  I had the privilege of being present at the quarterly meeting of the Philadelphia branch in July, and I gathered from the secretary's report, as well as from the president's address, that which can only be a faint idea of the amount of good they are doing in the way of helping those who cannot help themselves.  The society constitutes a self-elected, self-supporting, benevolent board of guardians, established for social intercourse in the first place, and in the second the relief of distressed English immigrants.  But Irishmen have submitted themselves to be Saxonized for the time in order that they might participate in the benefits of this useful institution.

    I gathered from the report that a considerable amount of money—American money, bear in mind—is annually spent in carrying out the objects of the society.  A very distressing case had just been brought before them.  An English schoolmaster, the very last man who ought to come out, had been driven from pillar to post in his efforts to obtain a livelihood by "genteel" means.  He had been relieved from time to time from the funds of the society, and as a last item of assistance they offered to pay his passage back to England.  The man was so overjoyed at the prospect of returning home that it turned his brain, and he committed suicide the week he should have sailed.  The action of the president of this society cannot be too greatly commended.  By his own efforts, incurring much loss of time, he on one occasion rescued from moral perdition three English girls who had been entrapped for immoral purposes in Castle Garden, New York.  Without losing sight of them, means were found at once to send them back to their friends in England.  If this be not Christian work, what are our "missions" for?  Yet I do not know of any assistance being rendered to this society by kindred institutions in England.  It may not be a part of our duty to help our own countrymen when in the greatest of all straits, but I regard it as a reflection on the character of the richest nation in the world to leave to the stranger the duty of providing for those who ought to be immediately under our own care.  "Sons of St. George," men who have risen from comparative poverty to affluence, yet hold not your wealth with a niggardly hand, you have the most grateful remembrances and the blessings of one countryman at least.

    Whatever pleasure may be derived from the study of history as received from books and pictures, the interest is increased tenfold by seeing the objects themselves, or the connecting links when species or races form the subjects of our studies.  I have been a very humble, but not the less earnest student in American history as it deals with races, and the development of civilization.  From reading the stories of Fenimore Cooper, and other writers of the forest, the lake, and the prairie, I had in my early years become imbued with the love of semi-savage life, and longed for the opportunity of seeing a little of it in reality.  But I never dreamt that the chance would present itself.  I would never come in contact with the representatives of the "braves" I had read of,—the Pawnees, the Sioux, the Mohicans, and the "palefaces" who hung on the skirts of barbarism and fought for life on "flood and field."  I had seen civilized descendants of one or other of these races, some with their hands in their trousers pockets, like an "Owdhamer," but I wanted to see the "war paint."  Accident threw me in company with quite a crowd of these people, who had been drawn from the "Wild West" to show the languid East what it was to be like a gaily-plumaged bird, living in continual danger of being "brought down."  The Indians were of the Pawnee tribe and were attired and equipped for the war path.  The whites and half-breeds were the "cowboys" of New Mexico and a dare-devil lot they looked—"ugly customers" to meet and have a quarrel with.  At the head of this gang was "Buffalo Bill," a renowned scout and hunter of the wild steer of the prairie.  He had done good service for the American government when the Indian territories were in a disturbed state and his name had become a "household word."  A fine looking fellow, his face bearing evidences of the presence of Indian blood, and his long, black, curly hair streaming over his shoulders from beneath a hat that might have served for an umbrella.  Sitting low in the saddle of his "mustang" he was the beau ideal of a child of the "setting sun," ready for anything that bristled with danger.

    But why was there a crowd of some 20,000 people gathered on the trial ground of Fairmount Park?  And what is the meaning of this village of tents, all astir with busy life?  We are in an Indian camp and the squaws are putting on their holiday attire.  Do the Indian women use the distaff, and is the grey-headed old coon who is almost buried in her shawl (thermometer at 98 in the shade) about to spin?  No; she is dressing the collection of scalp locks taken in battle and this grim trophy is to take a prominent part in a forthcoming ceremony.  The grand stand is a monster bed of flowers, each so mixed with the petals of another that it is a wonder they could have grown so closely together.  Flowers!—they are bonnets, but flowers nevertheless.  And what is meant by the prancing to and fro of light-limbed steeds with dusky riders swinging loosely on their backs,—gaily coloured feathers fluttering on their heads and their black hair flowing freely behind?  There is to be a parade of the "wild sons of the west," and the forces are marshalling for the display.  Now there is a loud "whoop," and a cloud of dust in the distance: the cavalcade is on the march.  And such a cavalcade!  Leading the procession is a chariot and six—the passengers of all colours save black and white.  There are "braves" of green, and blue, and yellow, and squaws of the same mixture of daubing.  I had been led to believe the latter, as a rule, were handsome and of noble bearing.  I had crossed Lake Ontario in the company of one of a tribe of Indians whose personal appearance did not give me a favourable impression of female beauty as it is to be found in odd corners of civilized places.  But this delicate-looking lady of about 250 pounds avoirdupois might be an exception, probably turned out of the wigwam for her lack of personal attractions.  But these others were of her type, and besmeared as they were with paint, their ugliness was considerably enhanced.  Following the conveyance were horsemen and horsewomen, the latter a little more prepossessing than the carriage people, being younger.  These rode very ladylike and as ladies ride who are not savages.  The juveniles stuck to the saddle with the ease of flies, and there was a sense of pride curling from their lips and shooting from their eyes that reflected back the plaudits of the assembled thousands.

    But the cowboys were the principal objects of admiration,—their "King" like one born to command and be obeyed at all cost of powder and blood.  There was nothing ferocious in his looks: they were rather mild than otherwise.  There was, however, the firmness of his native rocks in their expression, and although when quietly employed in repairing the lash of his whip he smiled upon those about him.  There was lightning in his eyes when he mounted his steed, and the thunder-clouds of black ringlets streamed behind him.  He would, no doubt, be seen to better advantage when roving over the "cattle ranches" and answering the wild whoop of the Indians.  But "Buffalo Bill" was the lion of the day and well he might be, for his shots would have made some of our riflemen feel as though their uniform did not quite fit and there might be such a thing as their not becoming it.  Mounted on his nag, with his short-bore double-barrelled rifle resting on his thigh, he set out at a gallop, and while two glass balls were flung simultaneously up in the air, he took aim and shattered both.  This feat was performed with a single bullet from each barrel and not with the scattering of small shot.  How would the breast of a foe have fared?

    The "war-dance" was a comparatively tame affair.  I expected something very exciting but it was simply a shuffling of feet as they formed in a ring, their blood supposed to be warmed by the beating of a couple of rude drums and the recital of the deeds of their fathers; perhaps the heat of the weather had something to do with it.  But the climax of the business in the "ring," which embraced the whole circuit of the race course, was the sham fight betwixt the Indians and the cowboys.  An old "diligence" was started, one that we were informed had often been baptised in fire and blood.  This ricketty old box was drawn by four lithe horses, driven by a veteran courier who had often run the bush when the bullets of the Indians, or the "road agents" (highwaymen) were flying about him.  On the roof sat a grey-bearded, shaggy-maned son of the forest, armed with two formidable dogs of pistols whose bark meant a bite.  He was my ideal of the "trapper" in Cooper's novels.  No sooner had the stage passed the stand than out of ambush, in a remote corner, rushed a troop of Indians, and the rain of bullets began in showers, the veteran on the roof of the coach blazing away finely.  But the showers grew into a storm when the cowboys appeared on the scene.  The Indians took to flight as swift as the shots that followed them and left the ranch-men masters of the field.  The old cock on the roof of the coach flourished his steel spurs in triumph as the retreating Indians flew into space.

    We did not stay to see how prairie "beeves'' are caught, though we saw several lassoed, and riders thrown; but we were afraid of a crush at the exit and left with the plaudits of that vast assembly ringing in our ears and drove among the quieter haunts of pleasure-seeking Philadelphians.


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CHAPTER XII.

CONCLUDING NOTES.


IT is a pity we cannot add to, or take from, many things that we have done in our lives,—add to the good, and take from the bad.  But if we cannot do this we have the privilege of remodelling a story and chronicling events omitted in the first draught of history.  We are in the habit of trusting too much to memory.  We think some incidents are so striking that we can never lose sight of them, forgetting that as time wears on events quite noteworthy are apt to push these into the background whence they recede into oblivion.  I have been guilty of this neglect, and many things which at one time were vividly before me, if at all recorded, have to be conjured up from the dreamy distance.  It were impossible for me to make amends in this instance for the omissions I have made in former chapters until I revise them for future publication, when I am in hopes that I may place the fugitive notes in their proper places.

    But I am still in America, where food for observation is never scanty.  I am in the midst of an excitement such as we know nothing about in England,—the election of President of the Republic, that lasts from June to November, during which period the political pot is kept at steaming heat.  It may only be simmering in July when many politicians are away to Europe.  But about the beginning of August the roll of the drum is heard and organising bands parade the streets.  These are called "flag-hoistings," and are nuisances such as would not be permitted in the most lawless part of England.  Only fancy large banners that would cover the gable of a 500 dollar house, being strung for months across our best streets for no other purpose than to display badly executed portraits of selected candidates to stand for the presidency.  Here we have Blaine and Logan; farther on we have Cleveland and Hendricks, the four party-sanctioned candidates for president and vice-president.  In some respects these may be fit men to "boss" a government, but, if all be true that is said of them, no Englishmen would care to see any of the four near his hen-roost.  Each of these has his "record."  We call it "character" in the old country, and things are raked up from their past history and recorded in public prints that to whisper in England would mean an action for libel.  No unprejudiced man could read these charges, when not contradicted, as they rarely are satisfactorily, without coming to the conclusion that they are four of about the worst scamps in existence.  One begins to think we can see villainy in their faces, yet two of them are bound to be prayed for, like our Queen, as though they were the purest hearted men that had yet succeeded to the chair of Washington.  If Victoria of England had been subjected to this "muss" previous to ascending the throne, what a draggletail she would have appeared in the eyes of strangers.  But one of these men will occupy the position of a potentate and be honoured as such by foreign courts, notwithstanding that he was called during his candidature by such nicknames as "Tattooed Jim," or "Black Jack," by which are designated Blaine and Logan, the republican choice.

    Europeans who would visit America should avoid this time if they wish to obtain a fair estimate of the American character.  The best people do not appear on the surface when the political waters are disturbed.  Only the adventurous politicians who hope to make something out of the triumph of their candidate fill the public ear and the columns of the public press.  These are clever men for the time, and he who can spread the Eagle's wings the farthest is the greatest patriot.  There are whole "ticket" men and half-ticket men.  Some who go the whole "platform," and others who stand on one plank only, or two planks, so that they can turn to the opposite party if their own candidate gets the "bounce."  At this time nothing else is talked about, unless "Slugger" Sullivan is "around" or a circus "strikes" the scene or a base ball match is to be played.  Amusement before anything serious at all times.  But the relief you get by these things is often worse than the pain you have had to endure, and as you come to reflect upon the situation the truth of the saying will force itself upon you—with what little wisdom the world is governed; and you may add—with what little things the world is amused!

    It was my fortune one evening to be flung among a lot of politicians of the "booming" type.  The company was composed of representatives of both parties and, to use their own phraseology, they "mauled each other around with swashing vigour."  No one had anything to say of his own candidate except that his hands were less dirty than his opponent's, which I hope, for the sake of a great country, is only the politician's, and not the popular American estimate of public virtue.

    "Jim Blaine is the meanest cuss that ever swindled a scripholder," said a tall fellow who could squirt over a man's head and hit the spittoon.  "Went into Congress without a cent and hadn't been in longer than it takes a copperhead to spring, aire he gummed the paper to the tune of 15 millions.  Is that the coon to trust with the strings of government?"

    "I go Blaine," said a well known democrat, and the announcement created surprise.

    "What, you go back on your own man, Dave?  What cause?"

    "'Cause," was the unsatisfactory reply, "Blaine, yer see, grabbed at the rags and shoved them inter his pants till they won't hold another dollar.  He's clean full, he is.  I go Blaine, 'cause his pockets are made honest, if his mind aint.  Cleveland, yer see, ain't tasted blood yet.  Let him git his teeth under the eagle's feathers, an' if he don't suck like a million Jersey angels, I'm a yaller nigger."

    "I aint havin' any stock in the Blaine track anyway," said another, "bet on that.  I'm a through and through Cleveland man, an' by ----- we'll tote him in.  Don't you forget it.  What the hail Columbia has Blaine in him, anyhow, 'cept a scent for the dollars! Been on the trail since the war, then his record got busted.  He fite England?  He'll mice to old Gladstone like a deadbeat.  Promise?  He'll promise to be honest if you'll only wait, then won't he go back on himself?"

    Not a word to be said as to the measures—only the men.  I listened in vain to hear something of what the people of America wanted besides a man at the head of affairs who was the least dishonest, as though rectitude in public men was regarded as impossible and was quite a settled question.  However honestly disposed a man might be, he is looked down upon by politicians if he does not feather his nest when he has the opportunity.  This is American opinion—not mine.  And whatever company you go into, if not among politicians who have their eyes fixed upon the bureau, and disliked by the true American on that account, you hear the same sentiments.  "Reps" or "Dems," no matter which party, they have the knife into the breast of the "dollar patriot."  The dealing out of emoluments is a sore point with those who expect none.  Every man who is lifted into power, if only a policeman, is expected to do something for his friends.  They "own up" that jobbery is the chief and proper aim of statesmanship, and a man in position is bound to do something for his party, or they will "go back" on him.  I am here reminded of a circumstance that occurred when I was a member of the Manchester City Council.  A woman wanted a situation as cleaner in the Town Hall and made persistent applications to me to "get her on."  It was in vain I tried to assure her that there were a large number of applicants for a similar situation, and their names were entered in a book and would be taken by rotation when one was wanted.  I had no power whatever to overrule that arrangement, even if I thought it right to do so.  "I voted for you," she said.  "But," I rejoined, "I cannot obtain work for all who voted for me."  "Then what were you put in for?"  This woman must have had some knowledge of American politics.

    "Appropriation" is a word much used among politicians of the dollar type. It means money voted for state purposes,—say, the improvement of coasts, roads, harbours,—building schools and other institutions.  A politician, who may be a barber or a shoemaker, but who has been big on the "great country" at election time, has a scheme of some kind which, if adopted, would save the government an enormous outlay that would be inevitable in the future.  He, by some means that people profess to understand, gets the appointment, and all he does for it, so the Americans say, is nothing.  He pockets the dollars and the scheme is lost sight of.  But the end of the politician has been attained.  The barber, or cobbler, is moving towards Congress where he hopes to be able to "appropriate" for his friends.  He has been "smart."  This is the political condition of America as gathered from American sources, but not from people who are likely to be consulted by a commission of inquiry or by petted visitors from the old country.

    Now for the social life of America as not seen in a run through the country.  As I may be expected to say, it is varied,—more so perhaps than in England.  If you hear a person say "that's Yankee," you may depend upon it he knows little of the Yankee character.  He has probably taken his standard from those who visit Europe or has gathered his knowledge from disappointed emigrants who have returned home.  You meet Americans you would take to be Englishmen if it were not for the peculiar accent in their speech.  There is neither extravagance nor bluster in their manner, and if you come to talk to them they will "own up" that their system of government is rotten.  They have a good constitution—no better anywhere,—good laws, but bad administration, because in the hands of men who are entirely unfitted for the work.  They don't talk dollars, nor "spread-eagleism."  You can hear common sense, and that is something to say of any people.  Their predictions of the future of their country generally are gloomy.  They know that corruption is eating into its vitals.  They are in love with the English mode of living, so much as they know of it.  I could make their eyes sparkle when I spoke of English homes—of their firesides, and their thorough domesticity, of their method of cooking as compared with what I had seen in America.  To show that all American women are not the hateful playthings of indulgent husbands, and that they value other things than jewellery and "just heavenly bonnets," I may mention a lady who did all her own housework—washed, cooked, baked, and made quite a "good time" of her domestic life.  Yet this woman was a thorough Yankee—had never visited England nor been taught its ways.  She rather took the steam out of me one dinner time by placing upon the table a "gradely" Lancashire potato-pie.  "Great snakes!" as "Uncle Sam" would say, what a surprise! and this, too, in the most aristocratic city in New England.  I might have gone elsewhere and been sickened with conversation that turned upon nothing but carats, gloves, Long Branch and general tomfoolery.  But harder times than the war times are telling upon the latter phase of American life, and no doubt good will come of it.  The loose members of society will have to be dealt with.  Adventurers cannot much longer gamble with other people's money and handle millions like a handful of cents,—then fail as if it was nothing to ruin thousands of people.  The purse-strings will have to be drawn and the "marm" who holds it a disgrace to soil her fingers with work, notwithstanding that her husband is in difficulties, will have to take lessons in household duty and bare her elbows to something besides the mirror.

    If we may judge by appearances, the Americans are a devoutly religious people.  They may, as we think, show more attention to their earthly guides than they do to the Great Master Himself, but they are, in the observance of the rites of worship, in advance of us.  Their Sabbaths are more decorous than ours and there is nothing in their secular life on that day that is out of harmony with this display of piety.  The sound of "dollars" may sometimes jar upon the ears and it may be vaunted how much Beecher and Talmage get for their ministrations, but this only by the way.  I am sure that it cannot be otherwise than a pleasure of the most exalted kind to go out from the cities and see the country people trooping to church.  Miles and miles they come from their farm homes, mounted on horses that work at the plough and cart, with here and there a "buggy" to give a little "tone" to the cavalcade.  Stalls are built around the church for the accommodation of these "teams," and where they do not exist the animals are hitched to trees or to stones with rings provided.  It would strike a stranger that a horse-fair was on hand, and these were early arrivals.  I have been told that the people ride in pairs, the farmer and his wife, but I have not seen any such mountings.  We do not meet with crowds of young men, unwashed, and with short pipes in their mouths, strolling in the country, attended by kennels of dogs and indulging in language unfit for any kind of society except their own.  America is not disgraced by this curse of the English Sabbath.

    The late war continues to be occasionally a subject of conversation, and it is a pretty general opinion that the object of the struggle was more for the advancement of a party purpose than any consideration for the slave.  Whether it was so or not, I will leave to the Americans themselves.  But all agree that it was an unnecessary war and ought never to have been fought.  But as it is getting to be a matter of history, it is looked upon in a less important light; and so many yarns have been spun about deeds of battle, and so many impossible things given as facts, that younger Americans are beginning to think the whole affair was nothing more than a grim joke.  A captain (I never came across a private) was telling me the other day some amusing anecdotes of the war, and amongst them was the following,—


"I was once out with a skirmishing party of federals," said he, "and we came upon the vidette of the enemy.  We had some sharp work with those Johnnies, and when I could see both of us were getting tired, and it was on the cards that we would prefer a good time to wasting powder and blood, I called out to the captain of the rebs: 'Say, Captain, would you mind having an hour's rest?'  'Right, Yank,' said the captain, 'down with yer irons.'  So we ceased firing.  'Say, Captain,' I called, as we got squatted, 'got any backer?'  'Yaas, Yank.  Got any rum?'  'Yaas,Johnnie.'  'Exchange?'  'Hoist yer handkycher.'  A man was told off from each line, and they hung out their body linen—not so clean, you bet.  One carried the backer, the other the rum.  They met half way and did the exchange as neat as you'd done it in a store.  Nothin' wrong in it, I guess.  We drank and smoked and had a good time while it lasted.  Then the captain of the rebs sang out: 'Guess the hour's up, Yank.  Look out; h—l's cumin'!'  We began the fire again,—popping a man off with his pipe in his mouth as if nothing was. But it didn't look the thing to knock a comrade over."
 

Inman Line City of Montreal.  Built in 1871, about 4,415 tons,
destroyed by fire August 10, 1887 on her way from Liverpool
  to New York. The York City rescued her passengers and crew.



HOMEWARD BOUND.


    And now there is nothing for it but to say farewell!  I am on the steamer City of Montreal, not a sea greyhound, but a safe and steady boat.  Not being one of the marine mashers, we have no collar and glove company, but a quiet jolly party that make up a family at once.  The morning is cold and dreary,—a similar day to the one on which I left Liverpool.  But we creep in the smoke saloon and are a cozy, genial, few.  Only three Englishmen, the rest Yankees.  But all English in sentiment, if not in nationality.  The time goes pleasantly on and we care not for the weather.  Surely this is not an American August.  If so, how will it be in England?  But the room is warmed by the yarns of the New Jersey farmer and the brogue of a genuine son of North Erin.  Oh, the happy time betwixt nine and eleven each night, when joke and anecdote went freely round,—the Irish "gintleman" singing a characteristic song, reminding me of my friend Laycock's "Bowton's Yard," but descriptive of a street in New York. Anent a "Mrs. Dooley," the song says—


She claims to be a Yankee,
    But all the neighbours know
That she came from county Connaught,
    When she moved to Gossip Row.


    The weather, if not stormy, continued in a sad mood till the shores of Columbia receded from our sight.  Then it was that I penned my "Farewell to America," which will be found in its proper place, at the end.  Gloomy and cold nearly all the way.  But land is sighted, and joy abounds.  The weather is now gloriously fine; the breeze is balmy, and the sun is behaving itself as if it knew it was on its trial by a Yankee jury.  The coast of Ireland is a delightful panorama, and the eyes that never saw it before admire its beauty.  "Paddy's Candle" (Fastenet lighthouse) is past, and greener grows the land till "it is just lovely, aint it?"  But we are to be sundered.  The family is broken into at Queenstown, and we are getting our farewells over; and now mine to America—


FAREWELL TO AMERICA.


Farewell, land of "booms," "tickets," "platforms," and "vetoes,"
Of lightning bugs, whistling fogs, snakes and mosquitoes,
Land of fried oysters, of clam-bakes, and chowder,
And the rowdy's best arguments—bullets and powder;
Land of all races, all colors, and mixings,
Of candy and peanuts, of notions and fixings,
Where prohibitive laws do not stop folks from drinking,
But old Bourbon and rye can be had for the winking.
Where a man who robs banks is held up as a "smart one;"
But let him take bread that will just keep life's cart on,
He'll get it quite hot from the judge who ne'er justice meant,
And sent up for weeks to the home of the penitent.
Land of "road agents," of pedlars and "drummers,"
Of confidence tricksters, "bushwhackers," and "bummers,"
Where political knaves fatten out of the taxes,
And how they get hold of them no man e'er "axes."
If I tell thee thy faults 'tis because that I love thee,—
Oh, land of the free! while the bird soars above thee,
That swoops on thy foes like thy blizzards and cyclones,
'Twixt thee and old England may bygones be bygones!
Do what has been done by thy mother before thee,
Deeds blazoned in history, ballad, and story:
Drive out the vile rascals that plunder thy coffers,
And cease to be jeered at by railers and scoffers.
Take the bull by the horns,—not the "John" of that "arire" name;
And throw down the beast that has trod on thy fair fame;
'Twill have to be done either sooner or later,—
So here's to the doing of 't my "darlin' young crayter!"
"So long!"*


* So long. The American term for " good bye!"





THE END.

 


 

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